Beef Bourguignon
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Don't be afraid of the lengthy instructions. This hearty beef stew is a timeless recipe that is easy to master and will impress even the pickiest beef easters.
Recipe type: Stew
Cuisine: French
Serves: 4
  • Beef Marinade
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 airplane bottle brandy or cognac (I used Hennessy)
  • 1 spanish onion, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
  • bouquet garni (parsley stems, crushed black peppercorns, bay leaf, 1-2 crushed garlic cloves)
  • 1½ to 2 lbs braising beef (such as chuck, sirloin tip, or top-blade), cubed
  • Stew
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 2 tbs all purpose flour
  • 2 plum tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • Garnish
  • 1 bag frozen pearl onions
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 pinches of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 pieces of thick cut bacon, cut into strips
  • 1 quart container button mushrooms, quartered
  • Pasta
  • 1 tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 package of fresh or good quality fettuccine (I used Buitoni)
  • 3 tbs butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
For the Marinade
  1. Wrap the bouquet garni ingredients in a double lined sachet made of cheese cloth, tied with butchers twine.
  2. Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade, including the bouquet garni, in a large bowl, cover with a plate, towel or aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator overnight. (the beef is ready when it has turned purple. The marinade also smells slightly less alcoholic.)
To Peel Tomatoes
  1. Have a bowl of ice an water large enough to hold the two tomatoes ready to go.
  2. Bring 4 cups of water to rigorous boil. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for about 30 sec. Remove from the boiling water and place in the ice bath immediately.
  3. The skin should peel off easily with your hands or a pairing knife.
For the Stew
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. In a large skillet, cook the bacon until extra crispy (even if you don't like it that crispy, it will soften in the stew)
  3. Drain off the fat and reserve.
  4. Dry the bacons strips on paper towels.
  5. Strain the the beef and vegetables, and reserve the liquid. Separate the beef from the vegetables and dry both thoroughly with paper towels.
  6. Heat a heavy bottom pot with a teaspoon of oil and about 2 teaspoons of the bacon fat. When the pan is almost smoking, brown the meat on all sides. (this should take about 3-5 minutes).
  7. Remove the meat and set aside.
  8. Pour off the oil and deglaze the bottom of the pan with water. Reserve the deglazing liquid (you're gonna want those crispy bits for flavor)
  9. Sprinkle the meat with the flour.
  10. Add a touch more oil and sauté the marinated vegetables.
  11. Add the meat back to the pan and stir for several minutes - just long enough to cook off the raw flour taste. Then add the tomato paste.
  12. Pour the reserved marinade over the meat, along with the tomato and bouquet garni. If the meat is not completely covered with liquid by about ½ inch, add water.
  13. Bring to a simmer.
  14. Cover with parchment paper cut in a circle slightly larger than the circumference of the pot.
  15. Then cover again with the pot lid.
  16. Place the pot in the oven. After 10 minutes, reduce the temperature to 375. After 1 and 30 minutes, check the meat. If it is not very tender, cook for an additional 30 minutes. Depending on the strength of your oven, this time can vary. (I cooked mine for about 2 hours and 15 minutes)
For the Garnish
  1. With about a tablespoon of the reserved bacon fat, sauté the mushrooms over medium low heat.
  2. Pour off the excess fat and set aside.
  3. In a shallow pot, add just enough onions to cover the bottom (if using the entire bag, you will probably have to do this twice). Pour enough water to cover the onions about halfway. Add the pinches of salt and sugar and butter.
  4. Cover with a parchment lid or pot lid. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the onions are almost fully tender.
  5. Remove the lid and let the remaining water evaporate. (If they are completely tender, pour off most of the water and add a touch more salt and sugar).
  6. When the water has evaporated, begin to move the pot around constantly until the onions have become almost golden in color (the sides of the pan will start to look dark golden brown from the sugar). Add a splash of water to release the sugar from the sides of the pan and continue to move the onions to give them that nice golden, caramelized color.
  7. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  8. minutes before the stew is finished, add the bacon, onions and mushrooms to the pot to bring them up to temperature.
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. (be sure to properly season the water)
  2. Strain and return to the pot. Add the butter, parchment and additional salt and pepper to taste.
To Finish
  1. When the meat is tender, remove with a slotted spoon, place in a separate bowl and cover to keep warm.
  2. Strain the liquid through a strainer lined with cheese cloth. After squeezing out as much liquid as possible, pour the cooking liquid back into the pot, and discard the remaining vegetables.
  3. Add the meat, bacon, onions and mushrooms to the pot and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the stew has reached the desired constancy.
  4. Reheat the pasta, and serve.
Recipe by A Sue Chef at