Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Julia Child's Boef Bourgignon

Soup is a comfort food for me, especially with our weather being so cold right now, and this might be the best soup/stew in the world.  I can't actually believe I've never featured this on my blog, it's one of our family favorites, and Aaron asks for it a lot.  This is a time consuming meal, but it is totally worth the time.  This is the Boef Bourgignon that was made famous on the movie Julie and Julia, and I make very few changes from Julia Child's original, except we substitute the wine for beef broth, which makes it not bourgignon, but oh well.  We've made it with the wine before, and it is delicious that way, but we prefer it with the beef broth.  This gets a perfect 10 for us, and each serving is about 490 calories.

See all those delicious mushrooms and onions?  Yeah, they make this stew.  Here's what to do:

For the Stew:

2 lbs beef stew meat, dried and salted
6-8 slices bacon, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
salt and pepper
2 T flour
3 c red wine if using or
5-6 c beef broth (may want to go low sodium broth, can get very salty), enough to cover the beef
1 T tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, mashed
2-3 thyme sprigs
bay leaf

For the Onions:

18-24 pearl onions
1 1/2 T butter
1 1/2 T oil
1 c beef broth
4 parsley sprigs
bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme

For the Mushrooms:

2 T butter
1 T oil
12 oz sliced mushrooms
1 scallion, chopped

Preheat the oven to 450.  Saute the bacon in a Dutch oven until crisp.  Remove to a side dish, then brown the beef in batches, browning on all sides.  Remove the beef to the same dish as the bacon, then add the onion and carrot and brown them until a little softened.  Drain off fat if necessary (I never have any fat to drain), and return the beef and bacon to the Dutch oven.  Add in the salt and pepper, then the flour, making sure to coat the beef well.  Place the beef in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 4 minutes.  Stir the beef, then cook for four minutes more.  Remove the pan, then reduce the oven heat to 325.  Stir in the wine/broth, then add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and additional seasoning.  Bring to a simmer on the stove top, then cover it and place in the oven for 2.5-3 hours.  
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Melt the butter and oil, add in the onions, and brown on all sides for a few minutes.  Add in the beef broth and herbs, season to taste, and let braise for 45 minutes to an hour.  Make sure onions are super tender, but still retain their shape.  Set aside.

Melt the butter and oil, then when the butter has ceased bubbling, add in the mushrooms.  Cook, flipping the mushrooms often, until the mushrooms start to release some of the fat they have soaked up.  Season well, then add in the green onion, and cook for a minute more.  Set aside.

When the meat has finished cooking, remove the meat/veggies from the broth, and bring the broth to a boil.  You want this to get as thick as you desire, we like our stew thick, so we reduce it quite a bit.  Adjust the seasoning to taste, then add the beef/veggie mixture back in the broth and add in the mushrooms and pearl onions in as well.  Make sure everything is heated through, then serve.  


  1. This sounds really really good and so warming, but could i substitute tomato sauce for the paste? I really really don't like the flavor of tomato paste. Love mom

    1. I wouldn't, the tomato paste is so minimal, and it helps thicken a little, whereas the tomato sauce would make it even thinner. Bite the bullet Mom and use the paste :).