Boeuf Bourguignon à la Julia Child

One of my all time favorite dishes is Boeuf Bourguignon, or Beef Burgundy in English (kjøttgryte fra Burgund or fransk kjøttgryte in Norwegian). The recipe I have (mostly) followed is a famous one; it is from the cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” by legendary Julia Child. Right now I have gotten to the point where the meat is simmering in a pot in the oven, and heavenly scents are emanating from the kitchen and I am doing my best to stop salivating and focus on writing. Don´t worry, I have the timer on.

The ingredients are not many, and they are all easy to come by. But with the right preparation and patience this is an amazing dish. Incredibly flavorful and meat so tender that you won´t even consider using a knife. Just spoon that puppy up!

This recipe is for 8-10 people. Invite your best friends and spoil them rotten 😉

Ingredients:

  • 250-300 g bacon
  • 1.5 – 2 kg lean stewing beef  (like chuck or shank), cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 4 – 5 carrots, cut into sticks (Julia´s recipe calls for 2 carrots, but I really like more carrots in this stew)
  • 2 – 3 pinches sea salt
  • ca. 0.5 ts freshly ground pepper
  • 2 TS flour
  • ca. 1 bottle red wine (Julia recommends a full-bodied, young red wine , such as a Chianti)
  • ca. 0.5 – 1 liter brown beef stock
  • 1 TS tomato paste
  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1 ts dried thyme
  • 1 ts dried parsley (or a fresh twig)
  • 2 crumbled bay leaves
  • 15 – 25 small white onions, depending on the size (I used about 15 shallots)
  • 500 g quartered fresh mushrooms, sautéed in butter and olive oil
Norsk:
  • 250-300 g bacon
  • 1.5 – 2 kg benfritt storfekjøtt av høyrygg eller bog
  • 4 – 5 gulrøtter, skåret i staver
  • 2 – 3 klyper havsalt
  • ca. 0.5 ts nykvernet pepper
  • 2 ss hvetemel
  • ca. 1 flaske rødvin
  • ca. 0.5 – 1 liter oksekraft
  • 1 ss tomatpuré
  • 2 hvitløksbåter, finhakket
  • 2 laurbærblad, smuldret
  • 1 ts tørket timian
  • 1 ts tørket persille
  • 15 – 25 små hvite løk (jeg brukte ca. 15 sjalottløk)
  • 500 g sopp

Start by cubing the bacon into quite small pieces, 1×1 cm or so. Brown the bacon in a pan, and scoop the bacon out onto a plate, leaving the grease behind. We´ll save this for when we brown the meat.

Now, cube the meat into quite big chunks, about 3×3 cm. Pat them dry with paper towels before browning them in the almost smokin´ hot bacon grease. Add only a few pieces at a time, we want them brown and not grey. Add the browned meat to a oven proof pot (enameled cast iron pots are great for this – I am planning to get one soon!)  and season with salt and pepper.

Pre-heat the oven to 225 degrees Celsius / 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle the flour over the seasoned meat and give it a good toss so that the flour starts to coat the meat. Place the pot, uncovered, in the oven for 4 minutes. Take it out, toss again, and give it another 4 minutes in the oven. This is done to brown the flour and to cover the meat with a light crust.

Reduce the temperature to 160 degrees Celsius / 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use half the wine to cook out the frying pan used for searing the meat, and add the tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and garlic to it.

Mix it up and pour it over the meat.

Now add the rest of the wine and the beef stock. The liquid should cover the meat, so a little more than you see in the picture below. Bring to a boil on the stovetop, and then place in the lower third of the oven and cover. Leave to simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Trust me, it will totally be worth your time!

While the meat simmers we can prepare the vegetables. I blanched the onions, meaning I threw the onions in a pot of boiling water. With the peel and everything. And left them in there for a couple of minutes. After that it was quite easy to remove the peel.


Trim the mushroom stems and quarter them. Peel the carrots and cut them into sticks, about half a cm thick and 3-4 cm long.

Melt a couple of tablespoons of butter (I used some lovely locally churned butter, Kviteseidsmør) and add a drizzle of olive oil as well. Start by searing the mushrooms, before adding the onions and the carrots to the pan. Sweat the vegetables before removing from the heat.

When the meat is tender it is time to remove the pot from the oven. According to Julia one should now sift and prepare the sauce separate from meat and vegetables before combining them again, but I just added the vegetables to the pot with the meat and sauce. I didn´t feel like doing more dishes – sorry Julia! Bring to a boil on the stovetop and let it boil until the vegetables are tender. The sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon easily. If it is too thin, just let it boil rapidly to reduce and thicken the sauce. It the sauce is too thick, just add a little beef stock.

Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes, rice or good bread. I served with homemade mashed potatoes; using the locally churned butter, heavy cream, Maldon sea salt and a couple of garlic cloves. Divine!

XOXO, Karen

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