Channel Your Inner Julia Child with Beef Bourguignon

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For years, I had been hesitant to make this typically heavy and rich beef dish. I prefer to eat lighter dishes that energize and fill me up without weighing me down. Beef stew? No thank you.

But then, over Christmas I was going through some old photos and journals from my culinary school days and happened across one faded entry, which had a few wine splashes on it, mind you, that said this:

“Today in class we made beef bourguignon! I have to say, I felt a little like Julia Child simmering that pot of beef and wine all afternoon. It turned out to be delicious although next time I’m going to add more mushrooms….”

So, I decided to give it another try….with more mushrooms this time. It was remarkably easy to make, just time consuming. When my wine has reduced all the way to a thick, velvet sauce and my potatoes were done, I called my boyfriend and casually invited him over for lunch. Then, I served us this.

We drank the rest of the wine that I didn’t use in the dish itself, and practically licked our plates clean. Leftovers were even better that evening. And then again for lunch the next day.

Don’t forget the roasted potatoes! They make this dish complete.

Beef Bourguignon with Roasted Potatoes

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Food blogger Jenna Weber channels Julia Child with her take on beef bourguignon. Jenna shares her inspiration for the dish in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tsp fresh minced thyme
  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1 lb small yellow potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • sea salt + pepper

Directions

  1. Combine the flour, 1 tsp salt and pepper in a large Ziploc bag and then add the beef and shake well so all the beef has been covered by the flour.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil and butter in a large cast iron (or heavy bottomed) pan over medium high heat. Once the butter has melted and is sizzling, add the beef and cook for about 4 minutes per side, until just browned. Remove beef and place on a plate.
  3. In a large pot, heat the other tablespoon of oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions, carrots and celery. Sprinkle vegetables with a pinch of salt and sauté for ten minutes (adding the minced garlic after five minutes) until onion is translucent and carrots have started to become tender. Add the minced thyme and stir to combine.
  4. Then, add the beef to the vegetables along with the wine and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer (put heat setting on low) and partially cover pot, leaving about a half inch open.
  5. Slowly simmer beef for three hours. After three hours, the wine should have reduced to a thick, velvety sauce and the beef should be very, very tender. Season with the additional teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
  6. Near the end of the simmering process, heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and sauté for ten minutes until tender. Stir cooked mushrooms into beef at the very end.
  7. To make the roasted potatoes, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash potatoes and chop into fourths. Lay potatoes on a foil lined sheet tray and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 35 minutes, tossing occasionally, until crisp and golden.
  8. To serve, remove bay leaf from beef and serve beef alongside roasted potatoes with an additional sprig of thyme and a hefty glass of red wine.

Yield: 6 servings


Jenna Weber, food blogger for PBS Food's Fresh Tastes blogJenna Weber is half of the Fresh Tastes blog team. She graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2008 and, since then, has worked as a pastry chef, bread baker and freelance food editor. Currently, Jenna blogs full-time on EatLiveRun.com where her delicious daily recipes and quirky culinary musings appeal to thousands. She lives in Northern California and, when not in the kitchen, can usually be found on her yoga mat.