Beef Bourguignon with amazingly tender melt in your mouth beef and hearty vegetables in a rich sauce. Julia Child made it famous. We made it easy.
I get it. When the weather’s yucky, like it still is, you want something warm and comforting to eat. Something you can put in a bowl and curl up on the couch with. A lot of times that’s a big steaming bowl of chili. But what if I told you that making beef bourguignon is just as easy to make? I think it’s even more comforting because it’s fortified with a big dose of red wine.
Seriously, beef bourguignon might be tough to spell, but it’s really easy to make. I get that the list of ingredients looks a little long, but you’ve probably got most of them already in your kitchen or pantry. There’s no complicated ingredients in this recipe, just like there’s not complicated directions to make this dish. In fact, the hardest part about making this beef bourguignon is peeling the boiling (or pearl) onions. And I’ll admit that they’re a real pain in the a** to peel. But totally worth the effort.
You’ll start by cutting up a piece of chuck roast. You want to use this cheaper cut of meat because it can really stand up to the long cooking that’s ahead for it. A chuck roast is perfect because it’s marbled with fat and connective tissue that turns nice and soft the longer you cook it. And you definitely want a nice soft piece of meat for this dish. You’ll start the meat cooking by browning it and getting a nice golden crust on the pieces. This gives the stew a lot of great flavor.
You may have seen beef bourguignon recipes that call for brandy. This one doesn’t use it. While it does add some flavor, it doesn’t really add all that much and you’ll find some recipes that list that as an optional ingredient anyway. So We’ll just leave it out of this one.
To get a bit of thickness to the juices, we use some flour. Not too much, just a little to thicken things up to a consistency that’s just a bit thicker than water. We don’t want the sauce to be like a gravy for this dish.
The wine. Oh…cooking with wine has come to cause people fits. I’m of the camp that says don’t cook with wine that you wouldn’t drink. But that doesn’t mean you need to spend $40 on a bottle that’s mostly going to go into the pot (although you’ll still have some left over for drinking with your meal). For beef bourguignon you want a dry red wine. Nothing sweet or you’ll end up with a weird tasting dish.
You can serve this several different ways. I chose to serve it over egg noodles, but you could serve it with potatoes, polenta or other noodles. Or maybe just a nice loaf of crusty bread to soak up all those yummy juices.
So put away your fear of cooking French food and bust your big Dutch oven out to make a hearty batch of this beef bourguignon. It’s definitely what you’re looking for on these cold and gloomy days.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 ounces bacon (4 slices), cut into ¼"x1" pieces
- 2-3 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1" cubes
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into ¼" thick rounds
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- ⅓ cup sherry vinegar
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely minced
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 10-15 pearl, or boiling, onions
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cut into quarters
- chopped flat leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Into a large Dutch oven add the oil and heat over medium heat.
- Once oil is hot add the bacon and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon, with a slotted spoon, to a large bowl and set aside.
- Add the beef to the Dutch oven (you may need to do this in batches so that you don't overcrowd the pan and end up steaming the meat instead of browning it). Sear the beef on all sides and remove, with a slotted spoon, to the same bowl as the bacon. Add salt and pepper as you cook the beef.
- Add the carrot and onion to the pot and cook until the onion is lightly browned (about 8 minutes). Add salt and pepper as you cook the vegetables.
- Return the beef and the bacon to the pot.
- Sprinkle the flour over the beef in the pot and toss to coat the beef with the flour.
- Slowly pour in the wine, stock and vinegar. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
- Bring to a simmer then add the mushrooms and pearl onions.
- Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven and cook for 1½ hours.
- Remove from heat and fish out the thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
- Serve over noodles, potatoes or polenta.
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