Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

A few years ago, it used to be very fashionable to cook this Boeuf Bourguignon recipe, thanks to the movie about Julia Child. I was juggling with the idea, I even had about two attempts, but only after our short trip to Paris did I return to the recipe. I then insisted on eating Boeuf Bourguignon in about 3 places. Each time it was different and the funny thing was that the best one was in a low-cost restaurant, yet with a simple and delicious menu.

Only then did I understand its taste. I knew now what I had to obtain and that was not necessarily Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignon. After all, it's a beef ragout, but made in the French style, a simple peasant food and not a juggling show with strange and hard to find ingredients. I cooked the recipe at least 5 times, in several variants, even one with chocolate! They were ok, but not the best, lacking that particular whole and simple taste of the meat cooked in wine.

So, below I am showing you a simplified Boeuf Bourguignon recipe. I would say it's a basic one - a veal ragout with wine and vegetables, very good and even handy. Might be harder to find baby onions, if you can't find any, stick just to the mushrooms or use simple onions cut into small pieces.

I even tried to cook it without flour, for a low-carb dish. I added the carrots cut into bigger pieces and we all enjoyed this wonderful food together. So, keep it simple, everything will be fine and tasty.


Veal meat
1 kg
I also cooked it with beef, but it boiled for 6 hours and the meat was still hard...
200 g
I took some smoked bacon
White onion
2 pieces
2 pieces
White mushrooms
250 g
Red dry wine
250 ml
here I used a Cabernet-Sauvignon
Ground black pepper
0.25 tsp
2 tsp
Tomato paste
1 tbsp
Laurel leaves
2 pieces
if you have, you can also add some fresh thyme, rosemary
50 g
Baby onions
200 g
optional, if you find any

Step by step


It's very important to choose the right meat - I chose the veal in the end, usually the neck or the shank. I tried to use beef, but it takes too long to cook, even 6 hours, and it's still tough.


Cut it into medium pieces, about 2x2cm.


Prepare the rest of the ingredients - cut the onions and carrots into large pieces and the bacon into thin slices.


Don't forget about the 2 bay leaves, tomato paste, thyme and rosemary, optional.


And, of course, a good semi-dry wine, the one you like to drink.


Place the bacon in a pan with no oil.


Once it has browned well and released the fat, carefully remove with a spatula and transfer to a dish or Dutch oven in which we will continue to cook the ragout in the oven.

Reserve the fat in the pan, we still need it later on.


In this hot fat, cook the meat we cut at step 2.

The pan must be hot, cook the meat just until it browns slightly, it shouldn't release the juice.


When nicely browned on all sides, transfer the meat in the dish with the bacon.

I cooked the meat in 2 rounds. Avoid crowding it in the pan because it will release the juice and, instead of frying, it will boil.


When you finished with the meat, place the onions and carrots in the same pan.

Stir and cook until they begin to brown.


Add tomato paste, mix and cook for another 2 minutes.


Pour 500ml water over the vegetables, stir and boil for another 2 minutes.


Then pour the water with vegetables into the dish with the fried meat.


Add the bay leaves, thyme and rosemary (if you have any).


Pour about a glass of wine, or more, so that the meat and vegetables are well covered.


Place the dish without a lid in the oven. Cook for 3-4 hours at 150 C.

The cooking time depends on the meat, but usually it doesn't take less than 2-3 hours, maybe longer. You have to add more water if the juice level drops too much.


While the meat is cooking, we will prepare the vegetables which are normally added to the ragout at the end, as a kind of filling - the sauteed baby onions and onions.

I found baby onions in the market. Now it's the season for planting the onion, so I could find onion sets. To peel them faster and easier, I sink the baby onions in hot water for 10 minutes.


Baby onions are peeled with plenty of patience - and it's even a lot harder without being sunk in hot water...

If you have, don't hesitate to use them, they are very good and interesting in texture.


Now quickly melt 50g of butter in the pan, cook some mushrooms in it - if they are small, leave them whole, if larger, cut into quarters.


Add the peeled baby onions, mix and cook until they brown nicely.


In the meantime, don't forget to check the meat, about every hour.

If the juice drops too much, pour a little boiling water to cover the meat well.

This usually happens when the meat boils for more than 3 hours and it's too hard.


But, if the meat is good, in 3 hours it should be ready, the juice at a normal level and the meat soft.

Now it's time to add salt and a little pepper, to taste.


Add the mushrooms and baby onions cooked in butter, mix carefully.


Then let the food infuse for 15-20 minutes before serving.


It goes great with a glass of wine and a garnish that you like (potatoes, rice, bulgur, couscous, pasta etc.), but also simply, with bread...


Quantity: 2 kg (6 servings)
Prep time: 200 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 60 min
Publish date:

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