Easy Boeuf Bourguignonne

36 years together

beef stew - French style

This classic French dish was made popular in the movie “Julie and Julia” where the American Julie blogged about cooking her way through Julia Child’s famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

No one really knows how to pronounce it(except the French), so the best thing to do is mumble it quickly while flaring your nostrils for effect. Who will argue with that?

pour red wine over meat to marinate

trim fat and cut into cubes

I first made this dish in 1976 and I used the recipe from the 1975 edition of Joy of Cooking. Irma Rombauer and Marion Becker, in the Joy of C unceremoniously call it “Beef Stew with Wine or Boeuf Bourguignonne.” No matter what you call it, it’s always delicious, fork tender, fabulous.

cook onion and garlic in butter

brown meat in butter

I’ve adapted the recipe a bit. For example the original calls for sliced blanched salt pork …or butter. I used butter. It also calls for pearl onions, and I used chopped. And they suggest adding the onions in the last hour, but I like to have them cook along with the meat to help flavor it. Do whatever you like.

boil wine in pan

Either way, the flavor feels very authentic. It’s not a fussy recipe, but you do have to give the meat time to cook – as in about 3 hours. The good thing is that you can use a cheaper cut of beef, or a leaner cut of beef and you’ll still have good results – as long as you marinate and then cook according to directions.

add meat to roasting pan

Our anniversary is December 27, so I made this a few days ago while my daughter, Rose, and her husband, Jason and kids, Liam, 12, and Maddy, 9 were visiting. It was a hit. I served it with tortellini noodles which are the kids’ favorites and green beans which are a vegetable they will eat without a fuss. That’s always my goal for meals – no fussing for me or from the kids.

cover meat with wine sauce

Ingredients for four
2 pounds lean boneless beef (I used three pounds sirloin steak for six people and there was very little left over.)
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp peppercorns, whole
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 TBS butter
2 TBS flour or cornstarch for the gluten free folks
2 cups red wine
Mushrooms, optional


• Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
• Marinate the beef in red wine for at least an hour, or overnight. Save the wine for the sauce when you remove the meat.

I love it

saute mushrooms

• Trim the fat off the beef and cut the meat into one inch cubes.
• Melt butter in a large pan and sauté the onions and garlic until transparent.
• Remove the onions with a slotted spoon so the butter stays in the pan.
• Put the onions in a roasting pan.
• Add the beef to the butter and sear on a medium high heat until browned.
• Remove the beef and put it into the roasting pan.
• Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Pour over meat and onions in roaster.
• Add the salt, pepper and bay leaves.
• Sprinkle the flour over the pan and mix it into the meat and sauce. (It will thicken as it cooks.)
• There should be enough moisture to cover the meat. If you need to add some water, there should be no more than ¼ cup water for every ¾ cup red wine.
• Cover the roasting pan and simmer in the oven for three hours, stirring occasionally.
• During the last ten minutes, sauté mushrooms, if you like, and add those to the “stew.”

This beef dish is mouth watering. I hope you try it and let me know what your results are.

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3 thoughts on “Easy Boeuf Bourguignonne

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