boeuf bourguignon

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Boeuf à la Bourguignonne

From the book Tender at the Bone by
Serves 4 to 6
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 3 days

Culinate editor’s note: Yes, this French classic is both long and laborious to put together — on top of the two days of marinating and those three hours of slow cooking in the oven, you’ll put in about three hours of prep work. So start the marinating on a Thursday and cook everything on a lazy Saturday afternoon. The results are worth it.


3 cups red Burgundy wine
2 Tbsp. cognac
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 sprig of parsley
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, peeled
10 black peppercorns
1 tsp. salt
2 lb. beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
4 Tbsp. olive oil
~ Salt and pepper to taste
¼ lb. slab bacon, cut into cubes
3 Tbsp. flour
1 cup beef broth
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, crushed
¼ cup (½ stick) butter
1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
~ Parsley, chopped, for garnish
~ Boiled potatoes, for serving


  1. Make a marinade of the first nine ingredients (wine, cognac, onions, carrots, parsley sprig, bay leaf, garlic clove, peppercorns, and salt). Add the beef, cover, and leave in the refrigerator for two days.
  2. Strain the meat and vegetables from the marinade, reserving the marinade. Dry the meat with paper towels.
  3. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet and brown the beef pieces, a few at a time, removing to a bowl with a slotted spoon when browned on all sides. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook the bacon until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and add to the reserved beef.
  5. Cook the onions in the bacon fat until lightly browned but not crisp. Remove and set aside.
  6. Pour off the remaining fat. Add ½ cup marinade to the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring to remove crisp bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour back into the reserved marinade.
  7. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  8. Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil in a casserole dish with an ovenproof cover and add the browned onions and the carrots from the marinade, stirring until soft. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until it turns brown. Keep stirring as you add the reserved marinade and the broth.
  9. Return the meat and vegetables to the pan and add the tomato paste, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper; bring to a boil.
  10. Cover tightly and set in the preheated oven; cook for three hours. Stir occasionally, adding water if needed.
  11. Meanwhile, melt some of the butter in the same skillet and cook the mushrooms, in batches, until lightly browned.
  12. When the meat is cooked, stir in the mushrooms and simmer on top of the stove for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with boiled potatoes.

This content is from the book Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl.

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