11. January 2014 · 3 comments · Categories: Beef · Tags: , ,

dishfrontSince the snow doesn’t want to give up I decided to bring out some culinary artillery to keep us warm and cozy during those dark and cold nights. It is time to dig into a classic: Julia Child’s Beef Boeuf Bourguignon. Yes, I admit, you have to put a little work into it, but not as much as you would think since you don’t have to supervise the actual cooking in the oven. It is not a light dish for sure, but sometimes you have to give up dieting to fill your belly with bacon, beef and wine. It also freezes nicely so you don’t have to eat it all in one night… unless you do :)

Serving: 5
Preparation: 1 hour
Cooking : 2 hours
Calories: 1 ½ cup serving – 740

2lb 5oz/ 1kg chuck beef cut
5 oz/150g salt pork, diced (if you can’t find it, substitute with pancetta or thick cut bacon)
2 ½ cups of Pinot Noir wine
2 cups of beef stock (I usually use my own stock that I make once every two weeks and freeze it for cooking purposes, but I didn’t have beef stock so I had to use readymade. The only good thing about it is that I could pick the low sodium and low calorie version)
1 can 28 oz/798 ml of Italian plum tomatoes, drained and crushed (save the juice for minestrone soup, or any other soup or sauce)

Vegetable and herb flavor bouquet
1 large yellow onion, cut into ½ inch pieces (1 ½ cup)
3 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces (1 ½ cup)
1 garlic head
5 medium bay leaves
8 thyme sprigs

Final garnish for the stew
10 oz/280g of small mushrooms, cut into half
15-20 fresh or frozen pearl onions
1 ½ tablespoon of butter
½ cup of beef stock
½ teaspoon of sugar
Pinch of salt

For thickening the sauce:
2 tablespoon of flour
2 tablespoon of unsalted butter, soft
Salt and pepper for final taste

Place the diced salt pork in a small pot with 2 cups of water and simmer it for about 10 minutes to get rid of the salt. Drain and pat dry and transfer them to a large frying pan on medium heat. Sear them for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The lardons will release some fat which you will use for browning the beef. When they are brown remove them and transfer to the Dutch oven you will use to bring the stew together.
Trim the beef of all the fat and pat it dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat up the frying pan with the leftover fat from frying the lardons and put a batch of chunks in a single layer. You don’t want them to be overcrowded because they need a nice browning, not steaming. Sear the meat for 5 minutes and turn them with tongs until they have a nice crust.
Remove the first batch to the Dutch oven and sear another one. and transfer to the pot. When all the beef is done remove the fat from the frying pan and add a cup of the wine into the pan and bring it to simmer. Scrape all the bits with the wooden spoon and add the liquid to the pot with beef and lardons.

Prepare the herb and vegetable pack to add the aromatics to the stew. You will need a cheese cloth and a twine to create a nice packet full of flavor. Put the chopped onion and carrot, thyme, bay leaves and garlic cloves in the middle of the cheese cloth. Fold it up and tie it with a piece of twine.

beef and packet1
Add the packet into the middle of the Dutch oven pushing aside the chunks of beef. Pour the crushed tomatoes over the meat, add 2 cups of wine and 2 cups of beef stock. Leave the remaining ½ cup of wine to add at the end with mushrooms and pearl onions. Bring it to boil on the stove.

Preheat the oven to 300F/150C and put the Dutch oven in the oven for 2 hours.
When the meat is done, put the pot back on the stove and remove the herb and vegetable packet. Drain all the juices and put them back into the pot. You may now discard the packet or leave some of the carrots to add some more texture to your stew.

Prepare the mushrooms and onions for final garnish.
Peel the onions and pierce a cross in the root end of each onion to prevent from bursting before you blanch them. Put them into boiling water and simmer for about 1 minute and strain them.
Trim and clean the mushrooms, and cut into halves, or quarters if they are bigger mushrooms.
In a large frying pan, melt the butter and add sugar and salt. Transfer the onions into the pan, and pour in ½ cup of stock. Cover with a lid and cook it for 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir it occasionally to avoid burning the onions. When they get that nice glaze, add the mushrooms and stir them until they release their liquid. Cook them all together for 3 more minutes until everything is covered with the glaze. Add ¼ of the remaining wine to the frying pan and add it to the Dutch over.
Put the pot on the stove to simmer for another 10 minutes with all the ingredients. Add the remaining ¼ cup of wine.

To finish the sauce thicken it with soft butter and flour. Mix them together with a fork and add ½ cup of the stew to help the mixture come together and then add it all back to the stew.
Taste it if you need to add more salt or pepper and enjoy!

You can serve it with bread, egg noodles or mashed potatoes but I like to serve it with Silesian potato dumplings, whose recipe you can find here.





  1. I haven’t even finished reading the whole thing yet, but I LOVE the way you chose to showcase the final dish! The snow was a wonderful touch!!
    This is something that I’ve been wanting to try, so I’m happy you put it up!

    • Very happy to hear that :) too bad the snow has become more icy than fluffy recently, but still there is a lot, I mean a loooot of it! It’s definitelly worth trying! Hope you will enjoy it as much as we did!

  2. Pingback: Silesian potato dumplings (not pierogi) - Magdalicious food blog

  3. Another wonderful and inspirational recipe. Thank you.

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