Boeuf Bourguignon (Julia Child)

Of course, since I am a food blogger, I had to check out the hype of the Julia Child stuff going on now.  I haven’t seen the movie Julie and Julia yet, but I did read the book.  I’ll check out the movie when it is on DVD.  Anyway, I read other food blogs a lot for inspiration and everyone seems to be making Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon.  It seems to be a rite of passage, of sorts.  Today was a nice day at home after a hectic few days of travelling to different states for two different weddings, so thought some good food was in order.  I did stray some from the original Julia Child recipe, so I’ll post MY version of what I did (it’s not very different at all).  I also consulted another blog for some instruction on how to cook the onions and mushrooms, since it was not very clear. 

Boeuf Bourguignon

6 ounces bacon, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp evoo
3 lbs. stewing meat (beef)
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 sliced onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp flour
3 cups red wine
2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
crumbled bay leaf
2-3 parsley sprigs

For the onions
18-24 small white (pearl) onions, peeled
1.5 tbsp butter
1.5 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup beef broth
seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, thyme)
1 bay leaf
1 sprig parsley

For the Mushrooms:
1 pkg. baby bella sliced mushrooms
1.5 tbsp butter
1.5 tbsp olive oil


Preheat oven to 450.

In a cast iron dutch oven, heat oil and fry bacon until crisp.  Set aside.  Pat beef until dry with paper towels.  When grease is very hot, add the beef and cook until browned on all sides.  Remove and add to the bacon that is set aside.  Saute’ the onion, garlic and carrots until soft.  Season bacon and beef and return to the pot.  Add the flour and toss to coat all the meat.  Set in the preheated oven for 4 minutes, then remove, toss again and cook for four more minutes.  Remove from oven and turn down to 325 degrees and set the oven rack at the bottom third of the oven.

Stir in the wine and enough broth so that the meat is just covered.  Add the tomato paste, garlic and herbs.  Bring to a simmer on top of the stove, then cover and return to the oven.  Cook in the oven at a slow simmer for about three hours, or until the beef is easily pierced with a fork.  (tender, in other words!)

While the meat is cooking forever in the oven, prepare your onions and mushrooms.

To peel the onions, bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add the onions and boil for THIRTY SECONDS.  Drain and allow to cool, then peel gently.  Heat the butter and oil and add the onions, gently turning until turning golden on all sides.  Add the broth, seasonings to taste, and herbs.  Cook uncovered for about 40 – 50 minutes or until almost all of the liquid has absorbed/evaporated.  Set aside. 

In another small pot/pan, melt the butter and oil.  Add the mushrooms and cook until golden.  Remove from heat.

Once the beef is done in the oven, add the onions and mushrooms and mix well.  Serve over pasta.

Some Notes:  In Julia’s original recipe, she does some boiling of the bacon before cooking it, which I did not do.  She also discards the chopped onion and carrots that she cooks with the beef, I kept that.  The more, the better!  And finally, I let mine cook too long (was scared the beef would be tough if I didn’t) so my sauce was pretty cooked down, she normally drains hers and cooks it down seperate from the meat.  You can check out her recipe for further clarification on this.  Just wanted to let you know what I did differently. 

Boeuf Bourguignon 019

Boeuf Bourguignon

 The Verdict:  Well when I was just about to get started cooking, I told a friend that I was cooking this for the one and only time because it looked like a pain in the butt.  I lied.  This is actually a very EASY recipe, it just takes a long time and kind of dirties a lot of dishes in the process.  Make sure your dishwasher is empty before you start!  But it is woth every minute spent on it.  My husband was skeptical of the recipe, thought it was glorified beef stew but it was soooo much better.  He made lots of happy noises while eating it and announced that we would be having leftovers for dinner tomorrow night!  It was a huge hit, it was fantastic and very impressive.  A definite must try for all aspiring cooks out there!


One response to “Boeuf Bourguignon (Julia Child)

  1. Since it is a cold and rainy day, and since I just watched the movie last week, I’m trying this dish for the first time. The only difference is that since I don’t have an oven casserole or Le Creuset, once I had browned the beef/bacon and sauted the onions and carrots, I put it all in my stewpot with the wine, broth and seasonings, brought to a simmer, and transferred to my crockpot for the slow cooking time. Can’t wait to try it out tonight. It smells delish!

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