Bouef Bourguignon

From The Culinary Couple | Source Julia Child


  • 6 oz bacon, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 lbs lean stewing beef , cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 3 cups full-bodied, young red wine like Chianti
  • 2 to 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 18 to 24 frozen pearl onions, thawed and braised (in butter and oil with beef stock, parsley, bay leaf, and thyme)
  • 1 lb quartered fresh mushrooms, sautéed in butter and oil
  • parsley for garnish


  1. In an oven-safe French oven, sauté chopped bacon in oil over moderate heat until browned, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Heat bacon fat until it is almost smoking.
  2. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  3. Dry beef with paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté beef, a few pieces at a time, in hot oil and bacon fat until browned on all sides, about 4 minutes. Add to bacon.
  4. In the same fat, brown sliced carrots and onions, about 4 minutes. Drain vegetables and discard sautéing fat.
  5. Return beef, bacon, and vegetables to French oven and toss with salt and pepper. Then add the flour and toss again to coat lightly. Set French oven uncovered in middle of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove from oven and turn temperature down to 325°F.
  6. Stir in the wine and enough stock to barely cover the meat. Add tomato paste, garlic, and herbs. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid continues to simmer slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
  7. While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. For the onions: Sauté pearl onions in 1 1/2 Tbsp butter and 1 1/2 Tbsp oil for about 5 minutes.. Add 1/2 cup beef stock, salt and pepper, parsley, bay leaf, and thyme, and simmer slowly for about 45 minutes.  For the mushrooms: Sauté mushrooms in 2 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil for about 5 minutes.
  8. When the meat is done, pour contents into a sieve set over a saucepan. Return beef, bacon, and vegetable mixture to French oven. Add cooked onions and mushrooms.
  9. Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer 2 minutes, skimming off additional fat as it rises until sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, add a few tablespoons of stock. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables.
  10. For immediate serving: Cover French oven and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting meat and vegetables with the sauce. Serve with boiled potatoes, egg noodles, or rice, and decorate with parsley.
  11. For later serving: After dish has cooled to room temperature, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving, bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting meat and vegetables with sauce.