Julia Child's Master Recipe for Beef Bourguignon, in Red Wine

READY IN: 3hrs 45mins
YIELD: 4 lbs




  • Make herb bouquet and tie in washed cheesecloth the following: 8 sprigs parsley, 1 large bay leaf, 1 t dried thyme, 4 whole cloves or allspice berries and 3 large cloves of smashed, unpeeled garlic together in a small square of washed cheesecloth. Can substitute with celery leaves and/or washed split leeks.
  • Dry out the beef chunks by salting and peppering each and letting them sit at room temperature.
  • Saute the bacon slices and set aside on paper towels.
  • Choose a large frying pan and brown beef chunks on all sides in bacon grease, being careful not to crowd the meat. Turn browned meat into a heavy ovenproof casserole.
  • Remove all but a little of the fat from the pan and add the sliced vegetables. Brown them and add them to the beef chunks in the casserole pot.
  • Deglaze the pan with the wine and then pour liquid into the casserole with the meat and carrots and onions. Add enough beef stock or bouillon to almost cover all.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and add the herb bouquet.
  • Bring to a simmer over medium to medium-high heat. Cover and simmer slowly, either on the stove over a low heat or in a preheated oven set to 325 degrees. Cook until the meat is tender, tasting to check.
  • Cook, "brown-braised" onions as follows: Peel onions, heat butter and oil in a medium pan and saute in one layer until colored. Cover onions with a little water, salt to taste and 1 tsp sugar. Cover pan and cook at a rapid boil for 10-15 minutes, or until tender.
  • To saute mushrooms, quarter washed mushrooms. Heat 1-1/2 TBS of butter and 1.2 TBS olive oil in a large frying pan and when the foaming has subsided, turn in the mushrooms. Saute for several minutes, tossing frequently as the butter is absorbed and then reappears on the surface when the mushrooms begin to brown. Toss in 1/2 TBS chopped shallots, if desired, season with salt and pepper and saute another 30 seconds.
  • Drain the meat and vegetables through a colander into a saucepan, pressing the juices out of the residue. Return the meat to the casserole pot and degrease the pan.
  • Boil the liquid down to 3 cups.
  • Off heat, whisk in the beurre manie [3 T flour mixed into a paste with 2 T softened butter) and add to cooking liquid. Simmer for 2 minutes as the sauce thickens slightly.
  • Correct seasonings and pour over the meat, folding in the sauteed onions and mushrooms. {May be completed to this point a day in advance for a dinner party).
  • To serve, bring to a simmer, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce for several minutes until thoroughly hot throughout.
  • Serve with mashed or boiled potatoes, TINKYADA brown rice pasta or a very good French bread or baguettes.