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  • juliearnan1

Beef Stew - Boeuf Bourguignon a la Julia Child

Servings: 6


  • 6 ounces bacon (1 1/2 inches x 1/4 inch pieces)

  • 1 TB olive oil

  • 3 pounds beef, cut into 2-inch cubes

  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 TB flour

  • 3 cups red wine

  • 2-3 cups beef stock

  • 1 TB tomato paste

  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed

  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 spring fresh thyme)

  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled

  • Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

For the onions:

  • 18-24 tiny white "pearl" onions (if frozen, thaw and drained)

  • 1 1/2 TB butter

  • 1 1/2 TB olive oil

  • 1/2 cup beef stock

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 spring of fresh thyme

  • 2 sprigs parsley

For the mushrooms:

  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms (white, crimini, etc.), quartered

  • 2 TB butter

  • 1 TB olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

  2. In a saucepan, simmer the bacon in 1 1/2 quarts of water for 10 minutes. Drain and dry the bacon on paper towels.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté the bacon for 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.

  4. Dry the beef cubes with paper towels.

  5. Reheat the fat in the Dutch oven until very hot. Brown the beef on all sides in batches. Remove and set aside with the bacon.

  6. In the remaining fat, brown the carrots and onion slices.

  7. Return the beef and bacon to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with flour and toss to coat.

  8. Set the dish in the preheated over, uncovered, for four minutes.

  9. Stir the meat and vegetable mixture. Return to the oven for four more minutes.

  10. Remove the pot from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

  11. With the Dutch oven on the stove top, stir in the wine and stock until the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, and herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover, and put it back in the oven for 3-4 hours.

  12. One hour before the beef is done, start the onions. While the onions cook, start the mushrooms.

  13. For the onions, heat the butter and oil in a skillet and add the onions. Sauté over medium heat for ten minutes, rolling the onions about so they brown evenly without breaking apart. Pour in the stock., season to taste and add the herbs and cover. Simmer over low heat for 40-50 minutes until onions are tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated. Remove the herbs and set the onions aside.

  14. For the mushrooms, heat the butter and oil over high heat in a large skillet. When the foam begins to subside, add the mushrooms and toss the pan to coat them with the fat. Shake the pan periodically for five minutes. When they have browned, remove them from the heat.

  15. When the meat is tender, remove the Dutch oven from the oven and empty the contents into a sieve set over a saucepan.

  16. Wash out the pot and return the beef and bacon to it, discarding the bits of carrots, onion, and herbs in the sieve.

  17. Add the mushrooms and onions to the meat.

  18. For the sauce that drained into the saucepan, skim the fat and simmer for 1-2 minutes, skimming additional fat which rises to the surface. You should be left with 2 1/2 coups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If it is too thick, add a few TB of stock. If too thin, boil until it is the right consistency. Taste for seasoning and then our over the meat and vegetables.

  19. To serve immediately, cover the Dutch oven and simmer over medium low heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove all items to a platter, surrounded by noodles, potatoes, or rice and garnished with the fresh parsley.

  20. If serving later or the next day, allow the pot to cool and place it, covered, in the refrigerator.

  21. 20 minutes prior to serving, place over medium low heat and simmer slowly for ten minutes, basting the meat and vegetables occasionally with the sauce.

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