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Bring France Into Your Kitchen with This Beef Bourguignon Recipe

This rich and savory beef bourguignon recipe will transport your taste buds overseas, no passport required. Beef bourguignon is a thick French stew made with good red wine — usually a burgundy, pinot noir, or merlot. Carrots, onions, mushrooms and chunks of beef are slow-simmered in a red wine sauce and cooked in the oven until fork tender. This fancy French beef stew is the perfect dish to serve for a dinner party, especially now that entertaining is back on the menu.

Beef bourguignon is the ultimate "special occasion meal" I make for when I have guests over, for holidays, or for an anniversary or date night. I first experienced beef bourguignon during a trip to France a few years ago and have tried endlessly to perfect the recipe since.

This beef bourguignon does have a long cooking time, but most of the time is simmering and baking; it requires very little hands-on prep work. Begin by browning the beef, cooking the vegetables, and reducing the sweet red wine sauce. Simmer the beef and vegetables on the stove, then finish the dish in the oven, leaving it untouched while it slowly bakes. Each step of the recipe builds another layer of flavor, making this beef bourguignon an elegant and intricate main course.

While most of the ingredients you can find at any market (beef, carrots, onions, butter) there is one ingredient you may have to hunt for: demi-glace. Demi-glace is a rich beef reduction sauce that adds seasoning and complexity to this dish. I'll be honest, I've made my own demi-glace before, but it's labor-intensive. While I am all for making recipes from scratch, I recommend buying a premade demi-glace instead.

I like to serve this beef bourguignon with a simple green salad, sliced baguette, and au gratin potatoes for an extra French flair. If you don’t want to make au gratin potatoes, simple boiled or garlic mashed potatoes work just fine. The bourguignon sauce reduces into a thick gravy that is the perfect companion for any potato of your choice. Bon appétit!

Beef Bourguignon Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 pint mushrooms, sliced
  •  2 cups water
  •  1 750 ml bottle good red wine
  • Demi-glace, 1 packet of store-bought, or ¼ cup homemade
  • Spice Sachet: 4 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves wrapped in cheesecloth.

Directions:

Start on the Stovetop

  • In an oven-safe heavy lidded pot (I used a Dutch oven), add the beef chunks, butter salt, and pepper to the pot and brown the meat over medium heat. Brown all sides of the beef, which should take about 15 minutes. Once browned, remove the beef from the pot using a slotted spoon and transfer beef to another bowl to rest. Leave the juices in the pot
  • Add the onion, carrot, and mushrooms to the pot and saute over low heat for about 10 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.
  • Add the water and red wine to the pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, and allow the stock to reduce down for about 20 minutes, leaving the pot uncovered.

Move to the Oven

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the browned meat back into the pot with the red wine sauce and vegetables.
  • Make your spice sachet: using a cheesecloth, make a bundle with the garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns, and thyme. Secure the bundle with bakers twine or string and submerge the spice sachet in the pot.
  • Cover the pot and place in the oven to cook for 2.5 hours.
  • When ready to serve, remove and discard the spice sachet from the pot. Plate the beef bourguignon and sauce over potatoes, and enjoy.

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