Meaty Mainstays

Beef Bourguignon

December 8, 2015

This is a pot of pure comfort.  Beef Bourguignon.  I have had many requests for this most-classic of beef-stew recipes, starting when I was doing Lost Recipes Found as a column for the Chicago Tribune, and continuing on today. The Trib first published a version of this recipe in 1954, reprising it in 1957, 1967 and 1972. We like our addition of beef stock to the recipe, but the basics remain the same. The key to superb flavor is browning the beef before slow-simmering, adding a full bottle of burgundy wine, and plenty of fresh vegetables and herbs. Be sure to have a loaf of crusty bread on hand to go alongside when you serve it. My recipe has you simmer the stew on the stove top for the first half hour, and then move it to the oven for the last hour (so you don’t have to keep up with the occasional stirring.) But you can also just leave the stew on the stove top over very low heat instead of moving it to the oven. If you choose this option: Just be sure to stir the pot every ten minutes or so, to ensure nothing sticks at the bottom. Continue cooking until the flavors have deepened and the sauce has thickened.

Beef Bourguignon
Serves 8
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  1. 1/2 lb good quality bacon, diced
  2. 4 lbs boneless beef chuck, trimmed of fat and cubed
  3. 1/3 cup flour
  4. 2 tsp fresh-cracked pepper
  5. 1 tsp fresh-ground salt
  6. 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  7. 3 Tbsp brandy
  8. 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  9. 1 large onion, diced
  10. 2 leeks, white part and just a bit of the green
  11. 2 Tbsp butter
  12. 1 lb package baby carrots (each carrot halved)
  13. 1/2 can tomato paste
  14. 1, 750 ml bottle burgundy red wine (pinot noir)
  15. 3 cups unsalted beef broth
  16. 3 bay leaves
  17. handful of fresh minced flat-leaf parsley
  18. 2 cloves
  19. 2 thyme sprigs
  20. 1 lb mushrooms, diced fine, sauteed in 2 Tbsp butter (optional)
  1. In a heavy saute pan, fry bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon to a large enameled Dutch oven. Set aside
  2. Trim and cube beef. In a bowl, mix flour with salt and pepper. Toss beef in flour to coat.
  3. Brown beef in batches in bacon fat (don’t crowd), adding 1 or 2 Tbsp of olive oil as needed.
  4. Once browned, remove the beef to the Dutch oven with the bacon.
  5. Deglaze skillet with brandy, scraping off browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Pour over beef and bacon in Dutch oven.
  6. Add another Tbsp of olive oil to pan; add butter. Cook carrots in butter (with lid on the pan) for 5 minutes, until partially softened. Add diced onion, leek and garlic to carrots. Cover and continue cooking until soft.
  7. Pour vegetables over meats into the Dutch oven. Add parsley, thyme, bay leaf and cloves.
  8. Stir in tomato paste. Pour in 3 cups of beef stock and whole bottle of red wine.
  9. Preheat oven to 375.
  10. Heat Dutch oven to a slow boil on stove-top, uncovered. Reduce heat until stew is at a slow simmer and cook for 30 minutes, giving the pot a good stir occasionally.
  11. Place in preheated oven, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Optional add: saute finely chopped mushrooms in a little butter; stir into stew before serving.
  12. Serve stew with crusty bread, fresh-snipped parsley, and more red wine
Lost Recipes Found

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