Grandma’s Beef Bourguignon is both Yummy and tender. Simmered in rich red wine gravy recipe – your family will love it.
Some of my favorite childhood memories are cooking and eating with my family. Can you say ‘Sunday dinner’, anyone? The laughter and smells that wafted through my grandmother’s kitchen were enough to keep us cooking and talking for hours on end.
Somehow, everyone seemed to have more time Sundays – perhaps because all the stores were closed and shopping and errands were checked off the list by Saturday, allowing for longer family time and more elaborate meals on Sundays. Enter Beef Bourguignon! Just attempting to say beef boor-GHEEN-yone, with a halfway decent French pronunciation (picture me laughing at my own feeble attempt here!), makes my mouth water!
If France is on your bucket list (yes, that is my hand, eagerly raised high!), then perhaps you will have the divine experience of eating and, dare I say drinking, your way through this gastronomic playground. Perhaps you will happen upon Boeuf Bourguinon on the menu, and, thanks to this little tidbit, you will be so ‘in the know’, cause… wait for it!…. it is the exact same dish that many know as Beef Burgundy. Maybe mama didn’t spend four hours on a Sunday preparing this dish, but we will get to that in a sec!
Bourguinon simply refers to a dish prepared in the style of the French region of Bourgogne (Burgundy in English). If this evokes a strong desire to rummage through a kitchen drawer in search of a corkscrew, you are not alone. Burgundy wines are often rich and complex, which lend themselves well to pairing with meat. But why just drink a glass (or two!) alongside your meal, when you can BRAISE your beef IN THE WINE!? Add in a few more palate pleasers…. mushrooms, carrots, onions, bacon….. Uhm, YES PLEASE!!…. and you have the makings of beef bourguinon!
But let’s back up a sec and compare the beef burgundy that many people grew up with to the true (AND VERY DOABLE) beef bourguinon recipe that rightfully takes about four hours from start to finish. Many of my American friends grew up with a recipe that called for beef broth and dried spices, simmered for about 1 ½ hour, that left them chewing and chewing and chewing at the dinner table.
There is simply no comparison to the fresh bouquet of spices, or bouquet garni, used in most every French (and my grandma’s) kitchen, a decent bottle of Pinot (go ahead and buy two, as three cups go into the recipe, and, well, let’s be honest…. one glass to savor over four hours AND dinner? I don’t think so!!), and a known source of meat – not only is grass-fed beef the best for our health (think we are what we eat AND what THEY eat), it also closely emulates Charolais bulls from the southern region of Burgundy, known for their succulent and tender meat.
And then… there is the sauce… the pièce de résistance of this meal! Why would anyone in their right mind want to skip making this beautiful roux…. the wine, the meat drippings, butter (‘nuff said), flour….. all combine to create a gorgeous, thick sauce – please pass the crusty bread so I can begin soaking and devouring, thank you!
So there you have it…. a tasty dish made of beef and mushrooms (I love mushrooms!) is an absolute treat IMHO (perhaps I am lucky…. my cravings are for savory food, not sweet)! My favorite recipes are the ones with a hearty depth of flavor, which are really meaty, filling and comforting…. this dish is just that! A perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon with family or friends (those glasses of wine and a good book will do the trick too!)!
We have skipped the shortcuts and it was well worth the effort…. the final product will be divine! In my mind’s eye, Julia Child is pulling up a chair, taking her first bite, closing her eyes and smiling contentedly! As I hope you will too! Thank you, Grandma!
Wondering what else can be served with beef bourguignon?
I would say anything goes with a hearty dish like this. That said, here’s what I typically serve with my beef bourguignon:
- Mashed potatoes are definitely on the top of my list.
- A slice of sourdough or country bread. If you are gluten-free, you can skip this part or find gluten-free bread and enjoy it as I do!
- A side salad is great too!
- Mashed cauliflower.
- Roasted asparagus, Brussels sprouts or another hearty veggie.
The good thing about beef bourguignon is that you can cook it in big batches because it freezes well once made. You can freeze a portion to enjoy when you crave it again later, without spending another 4 hours cooking it! Keep it in an airtight container for up to three months. I like to label all my food with the date it was made when I put it in the freezer.
What meat should you use for beef bourguignon?
Get the meat that works well for cooking low and slow, such as chuck beef, shin, any braising cut or the shoulder. You can always ask the butcher at your grocery store meat counter to recommend one to you as well… they specialize in knowing which cuts of meat work best for every kind of dish.
Et voilà! La recette!….
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #thetastesoflife
- 4 slices bacon cut into lardons
- 3 1/2 tablespoons butter or extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 lbs beef cut into 2-inch chunks
- 1 white onion large, chopped
- 1 pinch salt and pepper if you are gluten-free, use gluten-free flour
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups red wine Pinot or Chianti
- 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups beef stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 tablespoon thyme fresh
- 2 bay leaves
- 24 pearl onions
- 1 herb bouquet 6 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs sage, 1 bay leaf
- 1 lbs mushrooms fresh and quartered
- Simmer bacon lardons in 4 cups water for 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large dutch oven or a pot, sauté the bacon in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 4 minutes, until it starts to lightly brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Dry the beef in paper towels (for better browning). Sear the beef in batches on all sides in the Dutch oven. then set aside with the bacon.
- Add the sliced carrots and onions to the pot and sauté in fat until browned, for about 4 minutes. If there's any excess fat, drain it.
- Add the bacon and beef back to the pot. Season with salt and ground pepper, then toss and sprinkle with flour and toss again. Place in the center of the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove pot from oven; toss beef and place back in the oven for 5 more minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325°F.
- Add the wine and stock to the pot. The stock and wine should barely cover the vegetables and meat. Add garlic, thyme and tomato paste and bring to a light simmer on the stove. Cover and simmer in the lower part of the oven for 3 to 4 hours. The meat should pierced.
- In the last hour of cooking, bring 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons oil to medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the pearl onions and toss around in the fat until they've browned, 10 minutes. Then stir in 1/2 cup beef stock, a small pinch of salt and pepper and the herb bouquet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the onions for about 40 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and the onions are tender.
- Remove the onions from the skillet and set aside. Discard the herb bouquet and add the remaining butter and oil and bring to medium heat. Now add the mushrooms and cook for about 8 minutes, shaking the pan to make sure that all the mushrooms are coated with the butter or oil.
- Add the pearl onions and mushrooms to the Dutch Oven and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
- Season to taste by adjusting with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.
- Garnish with parsley and serve with noodles, potatoes, salad, veggies or rice.
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