boeuf bourguignon

Bouef bourguignon - the classic French beef stew - is a complex dish to make but totally worth the effort. It takes several hours to complete because the beef stew meat needs time to braise in the red wine sauce. I used fresh carrots and rutabagas from our farm share, as well as pan-seared mushrooms. You can also add pearl onions and green peas. I would recommend that you have a fine mesh strainer on hand (also known as a chinois), which allows you to strain out all the bits of garlic, herbs, and cooked onion to yield a very smooth sauce; this is a great tool to own if you make soups and sauces often. Serve this stew with a bold and full-bodied red wine on a cold winter night!

  • Bacon (2-3 slices, chopped)

  • Beef stew meat (2 pounds; cut into 2-inch pieces)

  • Flour (2 tablespoons)

  • Salt (3 teaspoons total)

  • Ground black pepper (1 teaspoon)

  • White onion (1 large, chopped)

  • Fresh garlic (5-6 cloves, chopped)

  • Brandy (1/4 cup)

  • Tomato paste (2 tablespoons)

  • Worcestershire sauce (1 tablespoon)

  • Bouquet of fresh parsley, thyme, and bay leaf (tied with cooking twine; known as "bouquet garni")

  • Red wine (3 cups)

  • Beef stock (2 cups)

  • Fresh carrots (5-6 large carrots, chopped into equal-sized pieces, approximately 1/2-inch)

  • Rutabagas (3-4, chopped into equal-sized pieces, approximately 1/2-inch)

  • Olive oil (2 tablespoons)

  • Mushrooms (2 cups, sliced)

  • Butter (1 tablespoon)

  • Fresh parsley (1/4 cup, chopped, for garnish)

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

  2. In a large Dutch oven, cook the chopped bacon on the stove top over medium heat until it is crispy. Remove with a wooden spoon and set aside on paper towel to cool. 

  3. Toss the beef pieces in a large Ziploc bag with flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. The pieces should be evenly coated in the flour mixture.

  4. In the Dutch oven, evenly spread 8-10 pieces of the beef stew meat and sear over medium heat. The beef should not be crowded so complete this step in multiple stages. Turn at approximately 4 minutes to cook other side. Each piece of meat should be very brown on the outside and a thick brown residue will form on the bottom of the pan. Once beef has cooked, remove to a separate plate and repeat with remaining pieces.

  5. Once all the beef pieces have been seared, set aside the beef and add the chopped onion and garlic to the cooking pot. Stir for 2 minutes until the onions are slightly brown.

  6. Deglaze with the brandy and use the wooden spoon to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom.

  7. Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, bouquet garni, red wine, beef stock, and the cooked beef and bacon. The beef pieces should be just covered by the stew liquid. Cover and place in the preheated oven. Cook for 1 hour.

  8. After the stew has braised for 1 hour, remove from the oven. Using tongs, remove the beef pieces to a separate place. They will be soft but not completely falling apart.

  9. Strain the stew liquid through the chinois into a large bowl. The onion, garlic, and herbs can be discarded at this point.

  10. Return the stew liquid, after straining, to the Dutch oven. Add back the beef pieces, chopped carrots and rutabagas. Return the Dutch oven to the stove and cook covered for 30 minutes.

  11. While the stew continues to cook, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a small skillet. Over medium heat, saute the mushrooms until they are just browned and wilted (do not over cook). Set aside.

  12. After the 30 minutes of additional cooking, remove the pot from the oven and add the butter and sauteed mushrooms to the stew.

  13. Return the Dutch oven to the oven and cook uncovered for 15 minutes.

  14. Check to ensure the vegetables are cooked through (should be easy to bite but not mushy). Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired. 

  15. Serve the stew in large bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.