Beef Bourguignon

January 2, 2018 By Cathy — 2 Comments
Frigid temps call for comfort! And there is no better way to feed your soul and warm your bones then classic Beef Bourguignon.

Beef Bourguignon

Not sure if you realized, but today marks the saddest day of the year. Well, seeing that it’s only the second day of the year, let me rephrase. It’s the saddest day of the past four months.

This, according to my younger son, is the day he’s been dreading since school started again in September. The day when there’s nothing left to look forward to…no Halloween, no Thanksgiving, no Hanukkah, no Christmas.  No gathering of friends and family, no piles of wrapped presents and candy, or cookies in every shape, flavor and size. Today he once again had to wake up to a buzzing alarm clock, make his bed, pack a lunch and brush his teeth before noon. The next significant break isn’t until mid April, which to a 6th grader may as well be measured in light years and the temperature is in the single digits. Droopy dog looks downright gleeful compared to my little sad sack.

Beef Bourguignon


Beef Bourguignon

Contrary to the saddest boy on the planet, I’m breathing a sigh of relief. I’m ready to welcome back our routine, get back on the elliptical, and not come home with five pounds of butter every time I go to the grocery store. We’re going to have a few more kale salads for dinner and I’m definitely back to a daily dose of steel cut oats for breakfast.

That said, there is still room for some hearty comfort meals in our diet. And that’s not a want, but a need, given the frigid temperature and biting wind. To me there is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of stew. A rich broth, tender chunks of meat and veg, and deep flavors developed over a long, slow simmer on the stove. My Guiness braised beef stew is one of my most popular recipes on the blog and today’s recipe is sure to give it a run for its money.

Beef Bourguignon

This is my riff on classic Beef Bourguignon, beef browned in bacon drippings and simmered until tender with mushrooms and carrots in a rich red wine sauce. I skip the pearl onions and swap the bacon for little chunks of pancetta and jazz up the sauce with a dash of this and a splash of that. Instead of cooking potatoes in the pot with the beef like a typical beef stew, I serve the Beef Bourguignon over a scoop of rustic mashed potatoes (leave the skins on and use a masher instead of a ricer) with a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

I’m hopeful that a bowl of Beef Bourguignon will ease my son’s winter blues and bring a little color back to his cheeks. After all, eating cozily by a fire is the silver lining to short days and chilly nights. And if a bowl of pure comfort doesn’t do the trick, it’s only about 170 days til summer vacation. But who’s counting…

Beef Bourguignon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Frigid temps call for comfort! And there is no better way to feed your soul and warm your bones then classic Beef Bourguignon.
Recipe type: Stew
Serves: 6-8 servings
  • 4 oz pancetta, diced
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2½ lbs beef stew meat, cut into 2 inch chunks
  • ⅓ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp anchovy paste
  • 1 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 750 ml bottle good (drinkable) red wine (cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir)
  • 1½ cups beef stock
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped (divided)
  • 1 lb baby carrots
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 14 oz mixed mushrooms (cremini/oyster/shitake)
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • *rustic mashed potatoes for servings
  1. Set a large dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp and then remove from the pan.
  2. Add the butter and olive oil to the pan. Toss the stew meat with the flour and add in a single layer to the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Don't overcrowd the pan or the meat will steam instead of brown. Do this in two batches if necessary.
  3. Once the meat is well browned, remove from the pan and add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Add additional oil if needed and adjust the temperature so the browned bits on the bottom of the pan do not burn.
  4. Saute the onion and garlic until translucent and then stir in the tomato paste, anchovy paste and brown sugar.
  5. Slowly add the wine, scraping all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, chocolate, thyme sprigs, half the parsley, and return the meat and pancetta to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to very low. Simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the carrots and simmer, covered, for another hour.
  8. In a separate nonstick saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until browned. Reserve.
  9. Remove the lid from the dutch oven and add the sautéed mushrooms and remaining parsley. Remove the thyme sprigs or stems and discard. Increase the heat to med/low and simmer uncovered until the beef is super tender, about another 20-30 mins.
  10. Serve over rustic mashed potatoes if desired.

Beef Bourguignon

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Filed Under: Main Dishes, Recipe, Soup/Stew


2 responses to “Beef Bourguignon”

  1. Ellen Brown says:

    Will definitely try this recipe… Have tried others but the beef was dry. Any thoughts?

    • Cathy says:

      The key is to get a good sear on the beef, then remove to a plate while you cook the onion, etc and make the sauce. Low and slow after you add the meat back in and let it cook until it’s fork tender. You can’t be in a hurry with this recipe! Hope you enjoy.

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