Beef Bourguignon recipe

Sep 19, 2009 at 3:06 p.m. ET

In this summers' release of Julie & Julia, Julie Powell explores the most classic of Julia Childs' recipes: Boeuf Bourguignon, also known as Beef Bourguignon. This French culinary classic is a scrumptious hearty dish that used to be a popular nightly meal, but is sadly no longer a meal that chefs or home cooks even attempt to prepare. Although traditionally Beef Bourguignon can be a complex dish, we've pared it down to a few simple steps, so you can get the same taste as the famed Julia Child dish in about half the time.

Beef Bourguignon

The basics of Beef Bourguignon?

Beef Bourguignon, or Boeuf Bourguignon, is a simple braised beef stew comprised of ultra tender beef, a hearty red wine (such as Burgundy), beef broth, garlic, carrots, fresh herbs, onions and mushrooms. The name Boeuf Bourguignon literally translates to Beef Burgundy because of the traditional use of Burgundy wine.

The meaty stew becomes deliciously thick and is often served over potatoes or pasta. This culinary classic has traditionally been a complicated dish because of the number of ingredients, long braising time (usually spanning 2-1/2 to 4 hours), and the many steps required during the cooking process. But you can make Beef Bourguignon much easier and in about half the time.

Updated Beef Bourguignon for the busy mom

With some innovative changes to the traditional French recipe, you can deliciously prepare Beef Bourguignon in fewer steps, and even cook the dish in a slow cooker to save even more time.

Beef Bourguignon is a truly great dish for the fall and winter months because of its heartiness and richly flavored sauce.

Beef Bourguignon recipe

Simple Beef Bourguignon

Makes 4 to 6 servings

1 cup pearl onions, chopped
6 whole cloves garlic
1-1/2 tablespoons cooking oil
4 ounces lardons*, diced
2 pounds stewing beef, diced into 2-inch square pieces
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups beef stock, warmed
1-1/4 cups Burgundy or any good red wine
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups carrots, diced
2 cups mushrooms, diced
Salt to taste

1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, saute onions and garlic in oil until golden. (Remove from heat if onion and garlic start to get too brown.)

2. Add lardons and saute until browned. Remove onions and lardons and reserve. Keep bacon fat in pot.

3. Place beef in the pot and cook until browned on all sides. Sprinkle flour into pot and stir until lightly browned.

4. Pour stock over beef and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits.

5. Add onion mixture back into pot then pour in wine. Tie herbs together and add to pot. Sprinkle pepper into pot.

6. Simmer on low, uncovered for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Add the carrots and continue to simmer for 45 minutes.

7. Add mushrooms and cook 40 minutes more or until carrots and mushrooms are tender. Season with salt before serving.

*Lardons are small cubes or strips of pork fat about one centimeter (3/8-inch) wide. You can find them at the butcher counter or, if unavailable, simply substitute diced bacon.

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