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Boeuf Bourguignon

Julia Child is one of my greatest idols, and boeuf Bourguignon was one of the first recipes that I perfected. Not to brag, but my boeuf and I could take Julia and her boeuf any day.

I got the basic recipe from a butcher in a small town in Ile de Ré in France, who scrawled it in French on a piece of paper. I followed it as best as I could, and after some more testing, I made it foolproof.

Accompany with a green salad and some country-style bread.

Serves 6

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
  •   Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 10 shallots, cut in half
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup diced pancetta
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 cups good dry red wine (about three fourths of a 750-ml bottle)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 15 black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  •   Fresh parsley leaves

1. Heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven.

2. Sear the meat in batches on all sides. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside.

3. Add the carrots, shallots, garlic, and pancetta to the pan and cook, stirring, until the onions are softened, 6 to 7 minutes.

4. Add the stock, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the meat, diced tomatoes, red wine, tomato paste, bay leaf, and peppercorns.

5. Cover and let the stew simmer for 3 to 4 hours, or until the beef is tender, stirring every 15 minutes.

6. Skim the top of any fat. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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