Beef Bourguignon - Julia Child's Recipe

October 23, 2022

Beef Bourguignon - Julia Child's Recipe

The perfect Sunday meal. While this recipe takes some time to cook, you will have a new winter favorite. 



  • 1 6-ounce piece of bacon (or use equivalent in bacon strips), cut into pieces
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 lbs stew meat, cut into 2-inch cubes 
    • If you don't have stew meat, I suggest using a arm roast or chuck roast cut into 2 inch cubes. 
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups red wine *I used Burgundy (Example: Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 18 to 24 pearl onions, small
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • Herbs - 4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth
    • If you don't have cheesecloth, you can add in and remove. 
  • 1 pound mushrooms, quartered



  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Cook bacon until fat is rendered, drain and dry. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
  • Dry beef in paper towels - you need to do this so the beef browns. Heat bacon fat and oil in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add browned beef to cooked bacon.
  • After beef is browned, in the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.
  • Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  • Sprinkle on the flour and stir to coat the beef lightly. Place casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.
  • Stir meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and puts a light crust on the beef). Remove casserole from oven and turn down to 325 degrees.
  • Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.
  • Add the tomato paste, garlic, and herbs. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Next cook onions and mushrooms.

Cooking Onions & Mushrooms:

  • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.
  • Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, carefully rolling them so they will brown as evenly..
  • Carefully move them as you don't want to break the skins - you cannot brown them uniformly.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.
  • Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are tender and hold their shape (the liquid should have evaporated)
  • Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.
  • Wipe out skillet.
  • Heat remaining oil and butter over high heat.
  • Add mushrooms to the hot pan. As they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.


  • When the meat is tender, you are to remove the cooked carrots and onions.
      • This recipe calls for you to remove all the contents of the dish to carefully remove the carrots and onions. I did not and did the remainder of this process all in one pan. The directions below about thickening or thinning the sauce is referring to all the contents being removed. 
  • Distribute the cooked pearl onions and mushrooms on top.
  • Skim fat off sauce in saucepan.
  • Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises.
  • About 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly should be in pan.
    • If too thin, boil it down rapidly.
    • If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock.
  • Serve with potatoes, noodles or rice, and top with fresh parsley.

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