By Chef Kate on December 12, 2005
Photo by run for your life
Photo by run for your life
"This is the classic, adapted from "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." A wonderful dish, raising the simple stew to an art form and quite simple to make -- even though the instructions look long. Use Simple Beef Stock, the recipe for which is posted on this site. Use a wine that you would drink -- not cooking wine. And the better the cut of beef, the better the stew. As the beef is combined with braised onions and sauteed mushrooms, all that is needed to complete your main course is a bowl of potatoes or noodles and lots of good bread for the sauce."
Serving Size: 1 (769 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
"I watched the film Julie and Julia and was intrigued. I was dying to see what the fuss was all about and although i detest mushrooms i decided to be brave and give it a try. Yes it took all day to cook but for a mushroom hater likemyself it was to die for. The beef melted in your mouth and the sauce. YUM!!!!
My family loved it and i felt so posh giving them 'Beef Bourguignon' for their Sunday dinner.
Bon Appetit People!!!"
"I've been a Julia fan for many many years but until today, I'd never tried this recipe. Forced retirement can have a fun and interesting side. I have lots of time to cook labor intensive recipes now.
I thought the recipe was delicious and even more than I expected. I enjoyed every minute/hour of the process. I felt a kindred spirit with Julia as I got into this all day adventure. And that's what it was for me, an adventure in real cooking, not just meal preparation.
I would make this again, and again. I believe I'd do it even for just myself because I so enjoyed the experience."
"My sister made this a few days ago and told me I NEEDED to make it. (I think she used a recipe off Oprah's website - same thing, right?) I may make a couple of procedural changes next time I make it, as I found the meat to be a tad underseasoned (easily remedied by salting before hand). And I think I'm going to make my own beef stock next time, as I think that will improve the flavor, as well. I used a Merlot as the wine, left the onion slices and carrots in because I was too lazy to pick them out. I also used already cut stew meat to save time. Don't think I'll do that again, either, as I don't think it has as much flavor as a whole roast you cut yourself. The mushrooms and pearl onions were sublime, and I loved the smoky undertones from the bacon. I will be looking forward to the next time I make this, in order to follow the recipe more closely and taste the differences."
"This is one of the best meals I have ever made. I was cursing the number of steps and the time it took until everyone tasted it and WOW! We have now tried a few different versions and I learned some tips and tricks. First, use frozen pearl onions that are already de-skinned. If you dont mind peeling all the little onions, then cut one end and boil them for a few minutes and they should theoretically slip off, but when i did this, so did half the onion! Next, use a bouquet garni bag for the herbs. Cook the stew in a cast iron pot...for some weird reason it makes a difference. Dont use bad wine....if you cant afford a bordeaux, use meritage which is usually cheaper. Towards the end, add 1/4 cup of cognac...it really adds more depth and tastes great. Serve with mashed potatoes and more of the wine you cooked it in and definitely double the recipe and freeze the rest....it is wonderful as a leftover and it doesnt take much effort to make twice as much."
"This dish is most definitely Paris on a plate. Just divine...so many complex layers of flavor and the bacon just makes the dish. Do use the best quality beef you can and it will result in juicy beef that is fork tender. It is definitely a labor intensive meal to prepare because all the components have to be prepared separately but the labor of love is more than appreciated by all...I used a good chianti and will repeat that in the future because it flavored it perfectly. This really couldn't be any better...a must try for lovers of beef and/or French food!!! Julia Child lives on!!!"
"OK I added an anchovy for depth of flavour (an old osso bucco trick) and some herbs de Provence. Needless to say this was amazing. Used LaCrueset and had absolutely no issues with evaporation. I also lowered the heat 300f. Served with horseradish mashed potatoes and haricotes vertes a truly wonderful meal. My girlfriend is jealous! (as always lol)"
"I first had made "Tyler's Ultimate Beef Stew." Following that success, I read reviews and noticed that others had suggested Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon as a "head and shoulders" above recipe. I said to myself, "self, we need to pick a Sunday and try this." Today, I did. After 6-hours in the kitchen, I presented this dish to my family (a 10 y/o boy, a 9 y/o girl, my wife, and my mother in-law). It was very quiet at my dinner table, except for the "num, num, num," noises. It is rare that my kids eat what I cook...their pallets favoring less complicated food. This recipe was absolutely delicious. Like others, I did not take the time to remove the onions and carrots from the beef mixture prior to serving. However, I did strain the sauce and reduced it until it coated the back of a spoon. Also, it is important to season and re-season throughout this process with salt and pepper. I've read other reviews that said their result was bland...I'm assuming that they did not taste what they were cooking to adjust the seasoning...this step is crucial in any recipe. I did add some leftover carrots with butter and parsley at the end, but everything else was according to recipe. I used about 3 lbs of chuck roast, cut into 2 inch cubes and took time to ensure all pieces were well browned before continuing. I wasn't able to find a 6 oz piece of slab bacon that wasn't sliced, so I substituted with Oscar Myer butcher's cut hickory smoked bacon. I also used fresh pearl onions, and blanched them to remove the skins. It did not take 40-50 minutes to cook...more like 20 minutes. Also, for the mushrooms...make sure your pan is hot, and on high-heat. Due to the water content in mushrooms...if the heat is too low, the water will release, and they will not brown...but rather stew in their own juice. The beef braise took about 3 hours to cook at about 300 degrees (325 resulted in a rapid boil rather than a simmer). I served mine over egg noodles. Final note...I used Barefoot Merlot and about 3 cups of beef stock for the braise. If you decide to try this recipe...it will take half a day, but is worth the time. I read another review below that said that this was not "traditional" in the sense that the author of the comment just returned from Paris and had theirs made with white wine...and Europeans don't eat rich food like this...etc. Sounds a bit pretentious to me...and having grown up in a German house...we ate a lot of rich food: is there anything more rich than liverwurst? It's 100% cholesterol! Anyway, I digress, but I found the ladies comment to be amusing and had to retort. Anyway...have fun with this and enjoy. Bon Appetite."
"I cut most of the first 16 steps out by using regular sliced bacon. I used the specified amount of beef but used 1-1/2 times the amount of other ingredients in that set. (4-1/2 C. of wine, 1-1/2 onions, ect.) That made more of the flavorful sauce. I also left in the carrots and onions. I thought they were too good to throw away! Next time I won't use the pearl onions as they had a VERY strong onion flavor after braising. This recipe has a very condensed, intense flavor! Really good!"
"Love this recipe. I have Mastering the Art of French Cooking and this is one of our many favorites from it. Also good over rice. The best part is that it tastes just as good if not better reheated as leftovers. I like to make a full batch on a Sunday afternoon and divide the leftovers into individual serving containers for lunches for the upcoming week. Yum!"
"I made this famous and delicious dish yesterday. It was a lot of work and I was pretty exhausted once it was dine. But it was absoloutely marvelous. I used beef brisket which I think is a great cut of meat and I chose a beaujolais. I also used pancetta instead of bacon. I was too tired to cook noodles and rice, but we sopped by all the beautiful sauce with fresh French bread. This is definitely not a weeknight meal but a nice dinner party with close, intimate friends."
"This is absolutely amazing, I think that this is the best beef stew I have ever had. I used regular bacon because I couldn't find chunk bacon and it was perfect. We served it over mashed potatoes and had a nice crusty bread to soak up all the extras... Loved it Loved it... Its worth all the time.... just anticipate the food love that this has to offer by smelling it in the kitchen all day!!!"
"OMG, what a delicious meal. I didn't strain it, and we enjoyed the veggies and more rustic texture. We used canned beef broth, and served with garlic mashed potatoes. Truly a memorable meal we will make again."
"Perfection. This is a real cook's recipe - best to take your time with it and enjoy the ride!"
"We've used this recipe straight from Julia's book. I always use the boxed beef stock and have made it with a cheap chuck roast. The results are outstanding no matter what! I use a Pinot Noir from Burgundy. Perfection."
"Just saw the movie and HAD to try this! Great way to start a New Year! Got the meat from the meat market, used a nice Chianti and 6 oz regular bacon. Also 1/2 lb mushrooms because someone reviewed and said that was in the original. Cooked for exactly 3 hours and the meat was perfect. Served over buttered noodles. I think this will become a New Year's Day tradition!"
"Very good. I did not own a Le Creuset so I used a combination of my large all purpose calphalon and my crock pot. Just a note...read thru the recipe at least twice and maybe a third time to get a game plan. Also, plan to get your kitchen very messy at least a couple of times in the process which is why this would be a great day before dish. The finishing will need the drippings to be very cool and the onions need at least an hour to boil down. I used a table box merlot with a splash of marsala in the mushrooms. Served it over wide egg noodles and roasted carrots, red potatoes and turnips. Lovely."
"Just made this tonight and it is delicious. It is definitely a bit more time consuming then most things I cook. A note is that I followed the directions for the onions and the mushrooms according to original recipe. There are two choices for the onions and I baked mine in the oven at 350 for 40-50 minutes. The Boeuf Bourguignon calls for 1 lb of mushrooms, but the recipe Julia Child refers to for the preparation is 1/2 lb so the oil and the butter need to be doubled in this recipe which they are not. I would also cook only 1/2 lb at a time so they get a nice light brown and do not steam. In her cookbook she lists the following meats to use: First Choice: Rump Pot Roast Other Choices: Chuck Pot Roast, Sirloin tip, Top Round, and Bottom Round Julia notes that the better the meat, the better the stew. Serving this the traditional way with boiled potatoes that I'm tossing with butter and fresh parsley."
"We've wanted to try this dish for a long time and finally got around to making it today. It was pretty easy to make but the wait was the hardest thing (smelled so good). We felt let down as the meat, which was just fork tender, turned out slightly dry, and the broth wasn't nearly as flavorful and decadent as we were hoping for. All in all, a good dish, but nothing special and not worth the wait. Thanks but I'm going to try Tyler's Ultimate Beef Stew next :)"
"Made this for my husbands birthday. It definitely takes 6 hours but it well worth the work. It is absolutely fabulous and the step by step instructions were great."
"Well, thought I'd give the recipe a go, even after reading the "competing" shorter recipe with Cognac and wine by Ina Garten. I wanted the "real" recipe the first time I did this. IT CAME OUT GREAT. Full of flavor. For those who said "blah", it's probably because they didn't use their full "cooksense" to properly season to taste at the appropriate moments. I used salt pork because I couldn't find solid chunk bacon easily. The lean beef I used was round, prepackaged from an upscale grocery store in LA; next time I'll cut my own meat to make it more uniform (better for browning and cooking). Used Wolfgang Puck Beef Stock; EXCELLENT rich flavor to me; about as good as homemade stocks I've made! For mushrooms, used Baby Bellas for a more robust flavor and texture. NEVER plain old parsley, but Italian Parsley. Used a wonderful young Bordeaux (only $7.99). All in my Le Creuset French Oval Oven. Only issues: my meat was so lean that not enough fat leeched from it to continue effective oil-based browning. Things did brown though. Other issue: the liquid really started evaporating after that 3rd hour in the oven, even with a heavy lid. I had to stop cooking, cool quickly and refrigerator, and get to bed. The next day, after placing in the oven again (only for reheating), very little liquid was left, so I need to use more than a few tablespoons of stock. I rushed the pearl onions a bit as my fire was a bit high, but that's an easy fix next time. No straining was necessary. Flavors were about as pronounced as they could be. Meat was either perfectly tender or "decently" tender (more liquid could have helped there, and longer slower cooking a bit). The dish smelled exceptional and tasted like a dream. Served over buttered parsley'd egg noodles."