Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon

Julia Child’s Boeuf BourguignonAfter recently visiting France and then watching Julie & Julia, I was inspired to channel my inner Julia Child and share a recipe from the cooking goddess herself. This recipe for her classic Boeuf (Beef) Bourguignon comes from her iconic “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” cookbook.

Although it takes quite a while to make, it is well worth the labor of love. The beef is tender … the sauce is rich … and the flavor is heavenly. I promise you won’t be disappointed. And in the words of Julia: Bon appétit!


6-ounce chunk of bacon, cut into ¼-inch thick pieces
2-2½ pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 carrot, sliced
½ yellow onion, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups of red wine
2-3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon fresh thyme
1 bay leaf

Braised Onions:
18-24 small white onions (pearl onions)
¼ cup beef stock
¼ cup red wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Herb bouquet (Tie the following in cheesecloth: 4 parsley sprigs, ½ bay leaf, and ¼ teaspoon thyme)

Sauteed Mushrooms:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Julia Child’s Boeuf BourguignonDirections:

  1. Heat the oven to 450°F.
  2. Cut bacon into ¼-inch thick pieces. Simmer the bacon for 10 minutes in water. Drain and pat dry.
  3. In a large Dutch oven, saute the bacon in olive oil on medium heat for about 2-3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove the bacon from the pot and place on a dish.
  4. Pat the cubed beef dry with paper towels. In the same pot you sauteed the bacon, brown the beef on all sides in olive oil. Place the meat in one layer at a time (to avoid overcrowding the pot). Remove the meat and place on a plate when done.
  5. In the same pot, add the carrots and sliced onions, and saute until lightly browned (about 5 minutes).
  6. Return the beef and bacon to the Dutch oven and add salt and pepper. Stir the mixture to coat the meat. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of flour and toss to coat the beef.
  7. Place the Dutch oven (uncovered) on the middle rack of the oven for 4 minutes. Then stir the meat and return it to the oven for another 4 minutes (Julia insists that this step browns the meat). Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and turn the temperature down to 350°F.
  8. Stir 2-3 cups of red wine and enough beef stock into the Dutch oven to barely cover the meat. Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a simmer on the stove, cover, and return to the oven for 2 to 2½ hours, or until the meat is tender when pricked with a fork.
  9. While the beef is cooking, you can prepare the onions and mushrooms (Set them aside until needed).
  10. For the onions, allow the butter and oil to heat in a skillet until bubbling. Then add the onions. Saute the onions for about 10 minutes on medium heat so they begin to brown. Add stock, wine, and herb bouquet, and slowly cook for 40-50 minutes (until onions are tender and liquid has almost completely evaporated).
  11. In a separate skillet, saute the mushrooms in oil and butter until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. When the meat is tender, use a slotted spoon and remove all the meat and vegetables leaving just the liquid in the pot. On the stove, turn the heat to high and reduce the sauce. Once reduced, add meat, vegetables, and braised onions and mushrooms back to the pot.
  13. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve!

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