French Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

beef bourguinon
Beef Bourguignon Recipe. Joff Lee - Getty Images
  • 12 hrs
  • Prep: 8 hrs 25 mins,
  • Cook: 3 hrs 35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 6 - 8

There are so many recipes out there for classic Boeuf Bourguignon. This recipe is the traditional version that you are likely to have encountered in French restaurants and cooking. Universally enjoyed, this slow-cooked beef stew is the ultimate comfort food. Perfect in winter especially with a good dollop of masjed potatoes to soak up the gravy.

Cook’s note: This recipe uses one allspice berry, because it infuses a distinctive flavor that many palates find overwhelming. If you are a fan of allspice, increase the number of berries up to a total of four, according to personal taste.

What You'll Need

  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups strong beef stock
  • 1/4 cup Cognac (or good quality brandy)
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch-long pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 allspice berries
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 pound bacon, cut into thick slices, and then coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, wiped clean and bottoms trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

How to Make It

In a large non-reactive container, gently toss together the red wine, beef stock, Cognac, onion, carrots, garlic, parsley, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, bay leaf, and beef. Refrigerate and allow the mixture to marinate overnight or for at least 8 hours.

Preheat an oven to 300F. Remove the beef from the marinade and drain it on a clean kitchen towel; using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a bowl and reserve the marinade liquid.

In a large Dutch oven set over medium-high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Fry the bacon in the butter until it is crisp. Keeping the fat in the Dutch oven, transfer the cooked bacon to a plate. Add the drained beef to the bacon fat and cook over high heat, often turning, until the beef is browned. Transfer the beef to a plate. Add the marinade vegetables to the fat and sauté them over medium-high heat, often stirring, for about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and allow it to cook for about 30 seconds. Gradually add the all of the reserved marinade liquid, continuously stirring to form a smooth sauce.

Drain the fat and return the beef and bacon to the Dutch oven, and stir a few times to combine the ingredients. Cover with a lid and cook in the preheated oven for 3 hours, until the beef is very tender.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a clean bowl. Strain and skim the fat from the sauce and pour it back into the Dutch oven, along with the beef.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the pearl onions for about 10 minutes, until they turn tender. Continue cooking them until most of the cooking liquid evaporates. Add the mushrooms, salt, and pepper to the pan and sauté them, along with the onions for 5 minutes.

Knead together the reserved tablespoon of softened butter and one tablespoon all-purpose flour to make a beurre manie. Stir the beurre manie into the simmering onion and mushroom mixture and cook it for 1 minute, until it thickens slightly. Add the thickened vegetable garnish to the Dutch oven and bring the stew to a simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve hot.