Julia Child’s beef bourguignon is a fantastic family meal thanks to its delicate, fall-apart meat pieces cooked in a thick red wine gravy.
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There is a good reason why Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon, or Boeuf Bourguignon in French, is a beloved classic. With this particular recipe, you should take your time, enjoy a few glasses of wine while cooking it, and give it a lot of care. Each action is worthwhile.
This meal, which is adapted from Julia Child’s best-selling book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, elevates a straightforward beef stew to an art form and is really simple to prepare. To try this in your own kitchen, you don’t need to be a skilled chef.
Even though families have made it many times throughout the years all around the world, the recipe is very forgiving. We omitted a few of Julia’s original stages to make it simpler and perhaps a little less frightening. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to tamper with anything this good.
HOW IS BEEF BOURGUIGNON PREPARED?
I don’t know about you, but when I read the original recipe from Julia’s book, I started to feel just as anxious as Julie did in the Julie and Julia movie, played by Amy Adams. A LOT OF STEPS So I grabbed myself a glass of wine and set out on a journey to try my best to follow AT LEAST ONE recipe in my life.
The outcomes were astounding. When a stew was finished, I can genuinely claim that I had never gotten as much pleasure from one.
The results were essentially the same, but with a bit more flavor added, when I tried it again, skipping only a few steps to try to reduce some of the work and wash more pots.
Alternative Video Recipe: Beef Bourguignon
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WHAT CHANGES DID WE MAKE?
- The first thing Julia does is cook the bacon rind and fat in water for 10 minutes, remove it, and then fry it briefly in oil. We omitted this step and simply started frying the food until it was crisp and golden.
- Julia advises baking the casserole with the beef and vegetables for 4 minutes, tossing the meat, and then baking for another 4 minutes. We too decided against doing this and instead continued cooking on the stove top. This had no bearing on the situation.
- We increased the amount of herbs in the stew and added a few additional cloves of garlic because we thought the dish needed that particular flavor.
- Furthermore, Julia cooks her pearl-sized onions separately from the beef bourguignon, bringing them in toward the end of cooking. The onions in my family’s bowls were entirely ignored, as they consumed everything else first. The results were better for us the second time since I included them with all of the ingredients, saving a pot and stovetop cooking time. The onions were spared!
- Finally, Julia instructs us to rinse off the casserole and add the beef and bacon to it after the dish is finished. I couldn’t bring myself to do this because I wanted to preserve every last bit of flavor in that pot.
We kept making it because I kept yearning for it the next day. No remorse.
FOR BEEF BOURGUIGNON, WHAT KIND OF MEAT WORKS BEST?
We experimented with brisket, chuck steak, and stewing beef (yep, I prepared it in our Instant Pot/Multi Cooker a third time). Our preferred outcome was brisket.
IDEAS FOR A FANTASTIC BEEF BOURGUIGNON
- After cooking, we quickly tasted the gravy and discovered that the wine had a very powerful flavor. Please refrain from worrying or attempting to fix things right soon. After 15 minutes of resting, the flavors start to meld together. We really enjoyed it and the wine flavor had subsided. The flavors are much better the next day if you want to serve it.
- The buttery garlic mushrooms shouldn’t be missed. They shriveled up into oblivion by the time I tried to incorporate them from the beginning. They taste really amazing when added right away, plump and buttery. I couldn’t help but season them with salt, pepper, and some garlic. The final product had a lot more flavor as a result.
- Cook the gravy. Do not omit this step, please. Watch the liquid magically transform into a mouthwateringly rich and glossy gravy by simmering it for a few minutes after filtering. Add a few tablespoons of stock at a time to the sauce to thin it out if it is too thick. However, if the sauce is too thin, simmer it for about 10 minutes over medium heat, or until it has been reduced to the proper consistency.
There should be enough sauce left over to coat the back of a spoon, or about 2 1/2 cups.
THE FINEST RED WINE TO PAIR WITH BEEF BOURGUIGNON?
For her dish for Beef Bourguignon, Julia suggests a fine burgundy. We selected a $20 bottle of Pinot Noir because we enjoy using that particular wine in our cooking. Though it needn’t be pricey, strive to purchase a high-quality brand.
Concerned with the quantity of wine? Increase the stock to 3 cups while lowering it to 2 cups (for oven and stove top methods only). You can completely omit the wine if you don’t want to use it and substitute pure beef stock instead. I cannot, however, guarantee the flavor. This is amazing because of the wine.
WHAT IS EATEN ALONGSIDE BEEF BOURGUIGNON?
Without a doubt, mashed potatoes! Additionally, it may be served with simple rice or noodles. You should serve this with a pretty plain side because it has a lot of flavor.
STEW VS. BOURGUIGNON VS. BEEF
What’s the distinction? Red wine predominates. A dry red wine, like Pinot noir, is what I prefer to use. Other excellent choices include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
WHAT BEEF CUTTING SHOULD BE DONE?
any beef stew meat. Chuck roast off the shoulder is my go-to dish. I prefer a slab that is 2″ thick and can be cut into even 1″ pieces. Here is your first cooking tip: the cooking time will be shorter the smaller the pieces.
THE STOVETOP VS. THE OVEN
You have the choice. You have more control and can more immediately taste the progress when you cook on the stovetop. If you wish to slightly thicken the sauce, you may also turn up the heat at the end and take off the cover. Probably more people use the oven. The benefit of cooking this dish in the oven is that it frees up space on the stovetop for you to prepare the side dishes and mushrooms. But it takes a long time to complete.
Note: Stirring is occasionally necessary when cooking slowly on the stove. Consider the source of heat. It’s below the saucepan on the stove. There is no need to stir frequently because the pot is heated evenly across the oven.
JULIA CHILD’S SIMPLIFIED RECIPE
- Follow Julia Child’s directions from “The Joy of Cooking,” or watch this beautiful black-and-white clip from 1963, to really taste her beef bourguignon:
- You’ll see that she has a lot more steps than I did. Making things her way also takes a lot longer. I made an effort to streamline some of the procedures without sacrificing flavor. The mushrooms are the one process that cannot be streamlined, though. The mushrooms won’t be discernible in the dish anymore, either in terms of appearance or flavor, if you cook them in a Dutch oven along with all the other components. Mushrooms must be prepared individually at the very end (with butter and garlic).
TASTE TASTE TASTE
You already know that’s my catchphrase, but with this meal, a word of warning: The wine needs a lot of time to work its magic with the stew. It tastes extremely strongly of wine and has little salt, if you sample it midway through the required cooking time. That is typical. Don’t take any action. Wait. Patiently. Seriously.
Prior to adding the mushrooms, taste them, and then again just before serving. At this point, you won’t be able to alter the balance of flavors, but you may make your dish even better by, if required, adding more kosher salt.
The flavor profile of this meal has another magical quality: It tastes even better the second day. Why? I’m not sure. The same applies to lasagna. Thus, be sure to produce a lot. If there are any leftovers, I simply reheat them over low heat in the Dutch oven for up to two days, adding additional stock or water if they become too dry.
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
Beef bourguignon by Julia Child uses just a few basic ingredients. These are the ingredients you’ll need, in addition to a sizable Dutch oven, to create it.
The good news is that since beef is the main component, you may use almost any cut you choose. It might be a less expensive cut, such as chuck roast or brisket.
- Instead of purchasing pre-cut stewing beef, I advise cubing the meat yourself. Larger chunks, in the size of 2″ x 1″ chunks, are what you need. Any smaller, and the result will be shredded beef.
- One of the two main liquids required for this dish is beef stock. If at all feasible, make your own since it will be a thousand times better than anything you can buy at the store. You’ll also be aware of every ingredient!
- The second braising liquid in Julia Child’s beef bourguignon is red wine. Red wines come in many varieties, but you should choose one of high quality. A low-quality bottle is insufficient for this dish.
- Consider a large, robust red wine instead. For roughly $20, you may purchase a decent bottle of one of these. The following sorts of beef would be suitable for this French stew:
- Use white or yellow onions, depending on what you have on hand, with the Chianti Red Zinfandel, Burgundy Pinot noir, Cabernet sauvignon, and carrots.
- Herbs: You’ll need some fresh thyme, a couple of bay leaves, and some fresh garlic for this beef bourguignon.
- Mushrooms – You can use brown or white mushrooms (cremini or portobello.)
In the UK, these tiny onions are referred to as baby or button onions. They are closely related to the leak and are referred to as “oignon grelot” in French.
JULIA CHILD’S BEEF BOURGUIGNON RECIPE
- Make sure that everything is prepared before you begin. Set your oven to 450° F.
- You’re going to start by preparing the bacon. You will get a lovely blend of chewy and crispy chunks of bacon in the beef bourguignon by cooking it in water and then gently sautéing it.
- Lardon is the French word for thin bacon strips.
- 8 ounces of high-quality bacon should be used. The thicker the better in my opinion. It will be divided into 14-inch-thick sections.
- For about 10 minutes, simmer the bacon in a pot of water over medium heat. Next, take it out using a slotted spoon.
- Ladle the bacon onto a bed of paper towels to drain.
- Cook the bacon for three minutes or so.
- For this beef bourguignon, use larger pieces of flesh and don’t omit the searing step.
- When preparing this, use a quality red wine. Simple but drinkable is possible. A “large” red wine with a strong body is what you should choose.
- Before the beef bourguignon is done braising, sauté the pearl onions and mushrooms.
- Making this dish a day or two in advance of serving is recommended.
FAQs About Beef Bourguignon
What dish was Julia Child’s personal favorite?
“beef bourguignon” (Julia Child recipe). This chilled leek and potato soup, which is well-known as one of Julia Child’s favorites, is startlingly straightforward.
Julia Child drank what type of red wine?
Wine from Sauterne was a favorite of Julia Child’s. French cookbooks and Julia Child’s enthusiasm for cooking made her the first celebrity chef to dominate television. However, there is one aspect of Child that is frequently disregarded and for which we believe a toast should be made: her passion for wine.
How is bourguignon sauce made?
(Recipe by Julia Child) People frequently inquired about sauce bourguignonne, sometimes known as “Burgundy sauce” (French pronunciation: [sos bui]). consists of a foundation of red wine, onions or shallots, a bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, and bay leaf), reduced, filtered, and some espagnole sauce.
Which of Julia Child’s recipes is most well-known
Child’s most infamous recipe is without a doubt this hearty beef stew from the pages of “Mastering the Art of French cooking.”
What dish is Julia Child’s specialty?
The meals that Julia Child is most famous for are coq au vin, French onion soup, and beef bourguignon. Child prepared beef bourguignon in one of “The French Chef’s” very first programs. Over time, the dish—which takes more than six hours to prepare—would come to be almost completely associated with Child.
More Alternative Beef Recipes to try
BEEF TENDERLOIN IN MUSHROOM SAUCE
When our kids go to Grandma’s house, I make this dinner for just my husband and me. My mother-in-law has been making it for more than 30 years. I’m really excited to make it as part of a special Valentine’s Day menu. Warminster,—Denise McNab, Warminster, Pennsylvania
CAJUN SIRLOIN WITH MUSHROOM LEEK SAUCE
You’ll have a restaurant-quality steak with a distinct Cajun flavor in 30 minutes. What’s the best part? You can avoid the drive, wait, and bill! —Joshua Keefer, Delaware, Ohio