Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon (Beef Burgundy)

Beef BourguignonThis recipe is adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. It’s somewhat of a long recipe, but no one ever said French cooking was easy. Have a glass of wine while preparing this wonderful dish, and the results will be rewarding.


  • 3 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • One 6-ounce piece of chunk bacon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups red wine (burgundy)
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups brown beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • A crumbled bay leaf
  • 18 to 24 small peeled white onions (about 1″ in diameter)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered

Cooking Instructions:

Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks 1/4-inch thick and 1 1/2 inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for 10 minutes in 1 1/2 quarts water. Drain and dry.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Sauté lardons in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.

Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the lardons.

In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.

Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).

Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.

Stir in wine and 2 to 3 cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered.

Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove.

Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet.

Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. You cannot expect them to brown uniformly.

Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.

Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.

Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.

Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.

Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.

Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.

If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.

Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.

Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.

Please leave your experiences with this recipe in the comments section below.


  1. phyllis smith says:

    lost recipe for lamb marinated and cooked on yhe grill , it had salt garlic mustard etc spread in butterfly leg of lamb, the best lamb I have had, please help if you can


  3. I absolutely adore this recipe. Granted, it is a little time comsuming, but I find that chopping all the veggies and patting the meat ahead of time save a lot of time and hassle to get things going quicker and smoother. I personally enjoy the dish with egg noodles more than potatoes. Absolutely worth the time and effort!

    Bon appétit!

  4. This was amZAYN it was the best i’ve had. So Yummy!

  5. I went to culinary school and the first time I cooked this recipe I was embelished by it! and after many years I made it again following the recipe from Chef Julia Child, and it is exquisite! I am going to cook it again tomorrow. It is like comfort food for me.

  6. again i can i leave out the bacon and use a different type of red wine

  7. I made this after watching the first episode of The French Chef where Julia Child made this dish. It turned out great. It was not that difficult and sotin I would definitely make agan. I love Julia Child, she made everything seem possible for the novice cook.

  8. this is the best recipe. if you love to cook (or eat great food) you will enjoy this. Hubby loved it.

  9. Can this recipe be doubled and taste as good?

  10. BJ Morton says:

    I really want to try this recipe. I can’t help but think of Julia and Julie (the movie) and how she fell asleep while this was cooking late at night and burned it. Great movie. I think I’ll just go for it.

    • JP, I can’t wait to try this recipe, however I will take a few shortcuts. Flouring the beef after browning it, is an interesting idea which I will apply to my Pot Roast recipe, if it is good.

  11. I’ve seen many beef burgundy recipes over time. None beats this one. A ton of work and time consuming but this is THE only recipe I have ever used to make beef burgundy. The dish is so delicious and spectacular that I have replaced my usual top notch (and very expensive) Christmas meal with this dish and everyone is beyond delighted. The bonus features of this dish is not only the money I’m saving on a prime rib and lobster dinner that I no longer buy but that it’s made in advance. That gets me out of the kitchen faster and gives me way more time with my guests. I serve this with a shrimp bisque first (also made in advance) and a tiramisu cheesecake for dessert (also made in advance). I now enjoy my Christmas meals more than ever before. Thanks Julia!

  12. Very time consuming and labour intensive recipe for the end result. I think now a days, rather than all this oven business, it is easier to use a slow cooker and get the same tender results.

  13. My oldest brother Eddie who is with Julia at this moment use to adore every moment of her show i remember as kids he use to call me out and tell me run she’s on and we just sit and watch as she cooked us a feast . we didn’t have all the fancy foods but watching her its like we was dining in class we this weed for my brother Eddie i will attempt to make this dish and i pray it comes out great

  14. JP, I can’t wait to try this recipe, however I will take a few shortcuts. Flouring the beef after browning it, is an interesting idea which I will apply to my Pot Roast, if it is good.

  15. Awesome recipe – but I am not able to easily find slab bacon, so I just use regular bacon.

  16. Just tried this recipe. I did it without the pearl onions or mushrooms since those aren’t my favorites. The directions were clear and my dish ended up great! Thank you! Really happy with this!

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