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Julie and Julia's Beef Bourguignon

  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Stews, Beef, Main Dish, French, Meat

 Ingredients List

  • One 3-ounce piece of chunk bacon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (Burgundy, Beaujolais or Cotes du Rhone)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 clove mashed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • A crumbled bay leaf
  • 10 white onions, small
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Herb bouquet (3 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
  • 1/2 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered


Recipe is adapted from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child, Louisette Bertholle and Simone Beck (Alfred A. Knopf, 1961).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

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.

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.

Reheat the casserole until the fat in it is almost smoking. Before sautéing the beef, dry it paper towels, as it will not brown if it is damp. Sauté the beef until nicely browned on all sides. Remove it with a slotted spoon and add it to the bacon. Do not discard the fat.

Next, brown the sliced vegetables in the same fat. Once browned, pour out the excess fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle the flour on top and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Put the uncovered casserole in middle position of the preheated oven and cook for 8 minutes, stirring meat halfway(this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).

Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

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

Cover casserole and set it in lower third of the oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms by sautéing them in 1 tablespoon of butter over moderate heat for about 10 minutes. Set them aside until needed.

When the melt 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. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.

Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

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