This recipe is ripped right out of the pages of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But that’s not where I learnt it. This is a dish from my childhood. It’s funny how the things you grow up seem normal. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized that most kids in Canada didn’t have this dish as a regular staple in their diets. I grew up watching Julia Child on PBS with my mom. I love making this dish, not just because it encourages you to speak in Julia’s high-pitched voice, but because it is a simple beef stew, elevated by technique. Don’t try to skip steps, don’t over fill your pan, don’t cheat. The end result is worth the extra work.
Boeuf Bourguignon Ingredients
ok, lets talk about beef. What cut I use depends on how much time I have. If you need this made in a hurry and still want it to taste awesome, use tenderloin. You can brown it, make the saucy part and serve it medium rare. If you have a couple hours, use sirloin. Makes a nice braise, but doesnt need a ton of time. But for the best tasting, with the richest sauce use something from the shoulder. You can use cross rib, top blade or even chuck shortribs.
- 2 lbs beef
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 1 lb mushrooms, halved, quartered or whole
- 1/2 lb baby onions, shallots or cipollini
- or if you can’t find any of those, just coarse chop regular onions
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 2 cups full bodied red wine
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 sprig rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
Boeuf Bourguignon Method
- dice beef into 1 1/2 inch cubes. season with salt and pepper
- cut bacon into 1/2 inch lardons, peel onions (or shallots)
- in a heavy dutch oven, fry bacon until a healthy amount of bacon fat has been rendered. remove bacon from pot and set aside, pour off excess fat, but save the fat.
- working in batches so you don’t crowd the pot. brown beef on all sides. set aside
- return a little bacon fat to the pot. again working in batches, sautee the mushrooms. set aside
- add a little more bacon fat and sautee the onions. deglaze the pan with red wine. add bay leaf and rosemary and bring to a boil. reduce until 1/2 cup of wine remains.
- return beef, mushrooms and bacon to pot. Add stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and braise until meat is fork tender.
- if the sauce is thin, make a slurry with the cornstarch and mix into the sauce. bring back to a boil to thicken
- check seasoning. (trick: if the sauce tastes a little flat you can add a tbsp soy sauce. If it tastes too acidic, add a little brown sugar. If it tastes too sweet, add a tsp vinegar.)
- Be sure to wish your dinner guests a resounding “Bon Appetit!!”