Pronounced “bur-ghen-yahn”. It’s one of France’s most known dishes, growing from peasant food to fine dining. Tender beef and vegetables lavished with a delicious red wine sauce.
- 4 lbs of bottom round roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3/4 lb of smoked bacon, diced
- 2 small onions, chopped coarsely
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped coarsely
- 4 stalks of celery, chopped coarsely
- 8 oz of mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cups of beef broth
- 6 tbsp of flour
- 2 cups of red wine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- 1 tsp of dried oregano
- 1 can (6 oz) of tomato paste
- Olive oil, if needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat your oven to 325°.
- On your stovetop, heat up your Dutch Oven on medium-high.
- Using paper towels, pat the beef pieces dry, then season with salt and pepper.
- Drop the bacon into the Dutch oven and cook until crispy. You should see liquid formed in the pan.
- Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
- Working in groups, place the beef into the leftover liquid and sear until a nice brown crust forms on all sides. Use some olive oil if your pan dries up.
- Remove and set the beef aside.
- Lower the heat to medium, and pour in a little more olive oil if needed.
- Add in the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and sauté until they soften.
- Bring in the garlic and mushrooms and cook for another minute.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour.
- Continue cooking and gently stirring for a few more minutes.
- Pour in the wine and broth, deglazing the pan by scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the tomato paste, thyme, and oregano. Also season the stew with salt and pepper.
- Place the beef, bacon, and bay leaves into the pot.
- Continue cooking until the liquid starts to boil, then cover and place into the oven.
- Braise the stew for 60-90 minutes, or until the meat is fully cooked and the sauce thickens.
When you’re initially heating up the Dutch Oven, do not add any oil or anything. When you start cooking the bacon, the fat will render and leave all that perfect grease to sear the beef with.
Be patient in searing the beef. Work in small groups and don’t crowd the pan, or else liquid is released and you don’t get a nice crusting on the outside.
After adding in the mushrooms, be sure to stir gently. Stirring too harshly will break the mushrooms into bits. We want to try to keep them solid.
If you can land a nice Burgundy wine for the sauce, go for it. Any decent dry red will do though.
When you’re in the final braising, check on the stew every thirty minutes. If it seems the sauce is thickening too quickly, then add in some water. If not, then leave be.
The use of carrots and celery is optional, as many recipes will not use them. I personally like them, as there isn’t that deep a “tradition” with this dish. The usage comes down to your personal taste.
Some will also like to use pearl onions over chopped ones. If can find them in your frozen foods section, give them a go.
Healthy It Up
Beyond using a leaner cut of beef, if you really wanted to “healthy up” this dish, you could forego the bacon and just use olive oil. However, this is one of those dishes where you’re honestly better off not cutting out what might be seen as “unhealthy”. Live a little.
It’s best to serve Beef Bourguignon with a nice starch to soak up that wonderful sauce. I’m a fan of just peeling some potatoes, cutting them into fourths, coating with oil, and baking in the oven until perfect. Others will use mashed potatoes, rice, egg noodles, or even spätzle.
I’d also suggest a good red wine to compliment this wonderful stew. Personal choices would be a French Burgundy or Pinot Noir.