“Life itself is the proper binge.” ― Julia Child

I had foot surgery about a year and a half ago and while I was on “couch rest” I watched Julie & Julia so many times I can’t even count.  Since then I’ve been talking about making boeuf bourguignon.

Last weekend I finally got my act together went to the store Friday after work purchased everything and started prepping.  As I was reading through the recipe I realized it had to cook for 2 1/2 – 3 hours.  Ooopps and I mean big OOOPPPS.  It wasn’t even in the oven until 7:15pm, which meant we wouldn’t eat until 9:45pm.  Off to the Thai place down the street my husband went to get us dinner as I continued to cook.  Luckily Julia Child includes directions on how to serve it later.  So here is my tip … cook this on a Saturday night! After working a full day this meal is a bit of an undertaking for a Friday, in my opinion.

I worked mainly off of Julia Child’s recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  I should mention I did make a few minor modifications.  This recipe serves 6 people or makes for fabulous left overs later in the week!


9- to 10-inch, fireproof casserole dish, 3 inches deep
6 oz bacon
1 Tbsp. olive oil or cooking oil
3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 sliced carrot (I used 4 carrots)
1 sliced onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. flour
3 cups full-bodied, young red wine, such as a Chianti (I used 2 cups)
2 to 3 cups brown beef stock or canned beef bouillon (I used 2 cups)
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
2 cloves mashed garlic (I used 3 big cloves of garlic)
1/2 tsp. thyme
Crumbled bay leaf
Blanched bacon rind
18 to 24 small white onions, brown-braised in stock (ingredients below)
1 pound quartered fresh mushrooms, sautéed in butter (Didn’t include)
Parsley sprigs  (Didn’t include)

Ingredients for Brown-Baised White Onions
1 ½ tablespoons butter
1 ½ tablespoons oil
½ cup red wine (or bouillon, beef stock or water)
salt and pepper, to taste
4 parsley sprigs
½ bay leaf
¼ teaspoon thyme

Remove rind from bacon, and cut bacon into lardons (sticks, 1/4 inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts of water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Sauté the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly.

Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon. Set casserole aside. Reheat until fat is almost smoking before you sauté the beef.  Dry the stewing beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté it, a few pieces at a time, in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

Chop the onion and carrot(s).  In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sautéing fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour.

Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole, and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove.

Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Set them aside until needed.

When the butter and oil are bubbling in the skillet, add the onions andd saute over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions about so they will brown evenly. Be careful not to break the skins.

Pour in the wine and season to taste. Wrap the herbs in cheesecloth and add the herb bouquet to the pan.

Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes. Remove herb bouquet and put them aside.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.

Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions (and mushrooms) over the meat.

Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.

For immediate serving: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve in its casserole, or arrange the stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.

For later serving: When cold, cover and refrigerate. Make sure to start the potatoes and noodles before you warm up the the boeuf bourguignon.  Bring the stew to a simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10-15 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.

Can you say YUM?!?!  This recipe takes a lot of time, but it’s easy.  I definitely plan to make it for a dinner party in the near future.

Bon Appetit!!

Don’t forget to leave your tidbit by commenting below :)

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