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Ode To Ina: Beef Bourguignon

beef-bourguignonLike the teens that ended up in the ICU after watching MTV’s Jackass, I too am guilty of seeing something on TV and ‘trying it at home.’

Almost immediately after seeing Julie & Julia years ago, I obnoxiously mimicked Meryl Streep’s Julia Child accent was determined to make beouf bourguignon like Amy Adams. I bought a Dutch oven and my very own copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Then I read the recipe…



Gurl, that is one complicated order! My new cookbook quickly became a shelf filler. Then my foodie friend showed me Ina Garten’s interpretation of Julia’s iconic dish. It cuts out about an hour or more of work. God bless you, Ina Garten. Granted, this recipe is still plenty time-consuming. About a bottle of Pinot’s worth… So you should probably grab two bottles when shopping for this dish.



This is, hands down, my favorite thing to cook. Every fall, I so very much look forward to making this dish busting out my Julia Child impression!


beef bourguignon adapted from the kitchen of ina garten
serves 8

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces bacon, diced
  • 3 pound chuck beef, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup cognac or brandy
  • 1 – 750ml bottle dry red wine I use Pinot Noir
  • 14 ounces beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 pound frozen pearl onions*
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
For serving:
  • 1 loaf French bread or 1 baguette
  • 1 clove of garlic

*If you desire a more subtle onion flavor, you can soak the pearl onions in a bowl of water in the fridge for a few hours.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

In a very large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove cooked bacon and set aside on a plate.

While bacon is cooking, place the beef chunks on paper towels and pat dry. This helps them sear better. Season generously with salt and pepper. Once the bacon is removed, in single layer batches, sear the beef chunks on all sides in remaining bacon grease, about 3-5 minutes. You may occasionally have to add more olive oil in between batches. Set aside with bacon.

In the Dutch oven, add the carrots, sliced onion, 1 tablespoon salt and 2 teaspoons black pepper to the bacon fat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute or so.

Add the cognac or brandy, remove any and all synthetic hair pieces, stand back, and ignite to burn off the alcohol. When flames burn out completely, return bacon, beef and accumulated juices back to the pot. Add the wine, beef broth, tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot and place in oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the meat and carrots are very tender.

Remove pot from oven and return to stovetop over medium-low heat. On a small plate, mash 2 tablespoons of butter with the flour using a fork and stir into the stew. Add the pearl onions.

In a separate large skillet, saute the mushrooms in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil, then immediately lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, slice the bread and spread on a baking sheet under broiler for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. While still warm, rub the peeled clove of garlic on the toast.

To serve, spoon stew over garlic toast.



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