Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Beef Bourguignon

This is autumn food. It's the kind of stuff you get cooking in the morning on a Sunday, while the house fills with delicious smells and the sounds of football. Love it.
I've made Martha Stewart's version, along with Julia Child's. Both delicious and very laborious. I thought I'd give Ina Garten's version a try, as it looked a bit less involved than the others. Well, it was wonderful, but frankly just as time consuming. There really is no getting around the fact that this is an all day affair...a labor of love. The plus side, is it's fantastic the next day. So, it's a great meal to make for entertaining, as it can be made a day ahead.

Begin by preparing the mise. Cut 1 pound of peeled carrots into 1" chunks.

Slice 2 onions. Put them in a bowl together for later.

Some other things to get ready...a 1/2 cup Cognac, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, a bottle of Pinot Noir, some beef broth, some tomato paste, and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees & put 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter out to soften.

Next, slice 8 ounces of bacon. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pot, or a dutch oven, over medium heat. Cook the bacon, stirring occasionally, until crisp {about 10 minutes}.

Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon & transfer to a large plate, or bowl.

Cut 2 1/2 pounds of beef chuck into 1" chunks. Dry with paper towels & generously season with kosher salt & pepper. Cook in batches, in the same pot the bacon was in, until browned on all sides {about 3-4 minutes}.

Continue until all the meat is browned. Remove to the plate with the bacon. Set aside for now.

Add the onions & carrots to the pot. Season with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt & 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown {about 10-15 minutes}. Add in the chopped garlic & cook an additional minute.

Next, pour in the Cognac. Stand back & light with a match to burn off the alcohol. Add the meat & bacon back into the pot,

along with 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves & 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.

Then, add in the bottle of wine & 2 cups of beef broth. Stir to combine & bring the mixture up to a boil. Cover the pot & place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until the beef is very tender.
When done, remove the pot from the oven & place on the stove. Put 3 tablespoons of flour in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix with a fork & add the the stew.

Next, add in 1 pound of frozen pearl onions,

and stir to combine.

Finally, in a separate skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Remove the stems from 1 pound of mushrooms {I used baby bellas, but you can use button mushrooms as well}, and cut into large chunks. Saute the mushrooms for 10 minutes, or until golden brown.

Add them into the pot & bring the stew up to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer & cook for 15 minutes, or until thickened.

Serve with toasted bread, mashed potatoes, or egg noodles.

Beef Bourguignon

Adapted From Barefoot Contessa, Barefoot in Paris Cookbook
Serves 6

1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces bacon, sliced
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef, cut into 1" cubes
1 pound carrots, sliced into 1" chunks
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup Cognac
1 (750 ml) bottle Pinot Noir
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
4 tablespoons softened unsalted butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1 pound frozen whole pearl onions
1 pound fresh mushrooms, stems discarded & caps thickly sliced

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy pot, such as a dutch oven. Add the bacon & cook over medium heat until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a large plate.
Dry the beef cubes with paper towels & sprinkle with generously with some kosher salt & freshly ground pepper. In batches, seat the beef in the pot, for 3-5 minutes, turning occasionally to brown on all sides. Remove to the plate with the bacon & continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
Add the carrots, onions, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt & a 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper to the pot & cook for 10-15 minutes, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic & cook for an additional minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and light with a match to burn off the alcohol. Add the beef & bacon back into the pot, along with any accumulated juices. Stir in the wine, beef broth, thyme & tomato paste. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender.
Remove the pot from the oven & place in the stove. Combine the flour with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter with a fork. Stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions.
In a separate pan, saute the mushrooms with 2 tablespoons of butter, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add them to the pot.
Bring the stew back up to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until it thickens. Season to taste & serve.
Click here for the printable recipe.


337 Greenwich said...

I love Beouf Bourginon, you've inpired me to make it this weekend! This seems a bit easier than the recipe I have, but you are's still an all day event...but thats kind of what i like about it. :-) great pics!

andtheend. said...

wow. looks beautiful. am planning on making it in a few weeks for a dinner party. how many (probably drunk) people will it realistically serve?

katie said...

Thanks 337!

andtheend~the 6 servings is pretty accurate...even for some drunk folks! they are generous portions.
if you really wanna win some people over for life, serve with some mashed potatoes!

Leslie said...

Hi Kate ... Love your blog and check it often you always have the best recipes and photos. Love hearing about what the boys are up too. Do you know of this blog > it's also good.
Come on by sometime..Leslie

katie said...

Hey Leslie!
Thank you so much.
With all the food blogs I read on a regular basis, it's hard to imagine how I missed that one! Looks gorgeous & delicious! Thanks for the tip :)

Chocolate Shavings said...

Beef bourguignon really is the ultimate comfort food. Did you like Ina's recipe the best out of all three?

katie said...

I would say that I liked it just as much. Not better. I also adapted her cooking time significantly. As followed, the beef was too tough. I like the meat to be falling apart, so I cooked it way longer.

Lisa said...

just discovered your blog today and I love it! :) I've never made Beef Bourguignon but I'm definitely going to now.

Have a blessed weekend!!

Unknown said...

Barefoot Contessa also does beef bourguignon with filet... divine and a bit shorter. Do you think you could do it with tri tip?

The Nedrys said...

I know this seems like a weird question, but does the alcohol cook out of this recipe? I do not drink alcohol for religious reasons, but really want to make this. As long as the actual alcohol cooks completely out, I am fine with making it! Or are there other options to making it without alcohol? Your recipe looks so yummy and while time consuming, not necessarily difficult. Thanks for sharing.

katie said...

The Nedrys~ According to this article,, even when cooked for 2 1/2 hours after adding the alcohol, 5% still remains. So, I guess the answer is no, it's doesn't completely cook off.
I really don't know what can be used instead. It's beef cooked in wine. That's what the dish is, so maybe a beef stew with no wine would be a good alternative?

Liz~I've never tried Bf's Filet version, but I've heard it's good.
I don't know about tri-tip. But, I have seen this version done with short ribs as well {boneless}.

PFortuna said...

Going to give this a try, Katie! Thanks for the pictures- very helpful.

Anonymous said...

@ The Nedrys. Bit of a late response but I made bourginon with alcohol-free red wine at the weekend - works very well.

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