Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
12 Sep

Beef Burgundy

If you’ve been to the movies lately, it’s likely you’ve seen Julie and Julia on the marquee. This true story contrasts the life of TV chef and cookbook author Julia Child with a modern-day fan, Julie, who blogs about cooking all 524 recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It’s a movie that makes you feel two things: uplifted and absolutely starving.

Some of the French dishes that star in the movie aren’t so appealing, like the ones baked in heavy pastry dough. Others are downright mouth-watering. Whenever the actors on screen sit down to eat you’ll wish you were at the table with them. French classics like juicy roasted chicken, fish sautéed liberally in butter and creamy hollandaise sauce with artichokes all make an appearance. One of the most memorable dishes is beef cooked for hours in red wine and stock until it’s so tender it will melt in your mouth.

This French dish, Boeuf Bourguignon, (or Beef Burgundy) is essentially a beef stew. But during the hours it slowly cooks in the oven something magical happens. The flavor of the broth intensifies and thickens into a velvety sauce. The beef becomes tender beyond belief. This sort of pleasure doesn’t come easily – you’ve got to give a little bit of yourself to achieve it. Mostly in the form of time. The recipe is not complicated, but from start to finish takes close to four hours. For at least two of those hours the Boeuf Bourguignon is tucked in the oven, filling your home with its amazing aroma. This dish keeps well, so think about making it on a Sunday and saving it for lunch during the week. You can also make Boeuf Bourguignon the night before a dinner party and re-warm it before serving.

This recipe is not exactly Julie Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon; believe it or not it’s simplified a little bit. Its essence, though, is the same – a mix of French decadence and good ol’ home cooking.


  • 1/4 pound bacon
  • 4 tablespoons butter (or lard)
  • 2 1/2 – 3 pounds of beef cut into 2-inch cubes. Rump roast, chuck roast, sirloin tip, and top or bottom round are all options.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cups full-bodied red wine such Cotes du Rhone or Chianti
  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 1 pound white or brown crimini mushrooms


Preheat oven to 425.

Cut the bacon into short strips. In a deep saucepan, saute the bacon in 1 tablespoon of butter until bacon is cooked but not crispy.

Pat beef dry with a paper towel and add it to the bacon in 3-4 batches. Brown each batch of meat then remove from pan.

Set bacon and meat aside in the casserole baking dish you will use in the oven. Sprinkle salt, pepper and almond flour evenly over the meat. Bake meat in the oven without a cover for 10 minutes so the flour is absorbed into the meat and hopefully creates a slight crust on the outside. Remove from the oven and turn the heat down to 325.

In the saucepan on the stove, add 1 tablespoon of butter to the remaining fat from the bacon and meat and sauté the carrots and onion until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the tomato paste, garlic, thyme, parsley and bay leaf. Stir in the wine and beef broth and bring to a gentle boil. Let simmer for 3-5 minutes, then pour over the meat in the casserole pan. Cover the dish and cook in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours. The liquid should be gently bubbling the whole time. You’ll know it’s done when the meat is so tender that it easily pulls apart with a fork.

While the meat is cooking, slice the mushrooms and sauté in the remaining tablespoons of butter.

Here is a tip directly from Julie Child: Don’t crowd the mushrooms. If you cook too many at once the pan will fill with liquid and they won’t brown. Saute them in 3-4 batches, adding butter as needed. Set the mushrooms aside.

When the meat is done, remove the casserole pan from the oven.

Put a bowl under a colander and pour the meat and liquid into the colander so the liquid drains out. Bring the liquid to a gentle boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Pour over meat and mushrooms. Garnish with parsley and serve.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Thank you, thank you. Ever since seeing Julia and Julia I have been hankering for this recipe.

    Sharon wrote on September 12th, 2009
    • This dish is in the oven right now as I type. The aroma is unbelievable! Can’t wait to test the flavor.

      Leahne Lightsey wrote on August 14th, 2012
  2. I’m so making this! Bet it can be done in a crock pot too. Thanks so much!

    marci wrote on September 12th, 2009
    • Let us know how it goes in the crock pot!

      Odille wrote on December 11th, 2010
  3. that scene where she eats the fish cooked in all that butter was great. she was speachless. i get that way when i taste truly good food.

    warren wrote on September 12th, 2009
  4. That looks amazing. Now I need to make this recipe AND watch the movie.

    crunchysue wrote on September 12th, 2009
  5. If only I was old enough to buy wine…

    Max L wrote on September 12th, 2009
  6. Oh my. . . .thanks ever so. I have a feeling this recipe will become my new special occasion favorite!

    Catalina wrote on September 12th, 2009
  7. I DID make this right after seeing the movie. I made it exactly to the recipe in the book except I didn’t use any type of flour….used thicken/thin after it was cooked. I cut the mushrooms into quarters, not slices and used the tiny onions called for in the recipe, not slices. I also used homemade stock (Julia’s recipe) that I make all the time anyway. I served it for a dinner party with a salad. Of course it was fabulous and nobody even knew they were eating primal. My Mom commented that the beef was so tender “it’s like eating a marshmallow”. Actually, the book has many, many recipes that are primal and DELICIOUS! You do have to enjoy cooking, though. They all take a lot of time.

    Cherie wrote on September 12th, 2009
  8. Another beautiful Primal meal. Will make this as a Sunday lunch tomorrow!

    Chris - ZTF wrote on September 12th, 2009
  9. Re: Beef Burgundy
    I saw the movie, and would love to try this recipe, but do you have a calorie count or fat content to go along with this dish?

    Gig wrote on September 12th, 2009
  10. Wow, that looks amazing! I will have to try it some time.

    Roger De Rok wrote on September 12th, 2009
  11. watch out for 365 brand they wont disclose their GMO status…

    jessica wrote on September 12th, 2009
  12. I think I’m drooling… I Love Julia Child!

    Mikeythehealthycaveman wrote on September 12th, 2009
  13. Yummm…

    fritchbeetle wrote on September 12th, 2009
    • Why does it take you to a site about premature ejaculation when you click on your name?

      James wrote on October 14th, 2011
  14. This does look awesome, and looked great in the movie too! I loved that movie and had to buy Julia’s cookbook as soon as I got home.

    So far the only thing I have made from it is the Coq au Vin, which took me 2 1/2 hours from start to table. But it was probably the most delicious thing I have ever cooked, and also pretty primal.

    Debbie wrote on September 12th, 2009
  15. After reading this recipe, my wife said, “You’ve gotta love a recipe that contains the instructions, ‘saute the bacon in 1 tablespoon of butter'”.

    And we just bought a couple of chuck steaks today. I think I know how at least one of them is getting cooked….

    Tom wrote on September 12th, 2009
  16. Too funny – I just saw Julie & Julia last night (while wearing my “Grok On!” t-shirt, no less!), and now I wake up to this post. On the way home from the theater I thought, “I wonder if I could ‘Primal-ize’ some of her recipes…”

    We’ll be trying this one, for sure.

    AdamKayce wrote on September 13th, 2009
  17. Anyone have an idea how this could be done in a convection oven??That’s all we’ve got in this Japanese kitchen.

    I plan to make this a time or two so I can perfect it before my hubby comes home from deployment ~ this will make him SO happy after all that frozen stuff he’s been eating.

    Beth Olmo wrote on September 13th, 2009
  18. OK, I’m really out of it here in France. First time I’ve seen the word primal bandied about in such a way – have to look into that.

    BB can be made quite easily on the stove top as well. Here’s my beef bourguignon recipethat I consider to be one of the easier dishes in the world to make. The wine takes care of all of the work and the house smells divine.

    I’ll be back for another look at your interesting website.


    Kim - Easy French Food wrote on September 13th, 2009
    • I made the beef bourguignon recipe which is the same thing almost, and I didnt realize that you had to let it cook in the oven for 3-4 hours, so I did it on the stove top and with a wing and a prayer it was SO DIVINE. Basically the same method as yours. I had 4 people who ate it that night along with me have begged me to make it again soon. I also had leftovers which were heavenly!

      shyne1118 wrote on December 20th, 2010
  19. Wow.. the ingredients alone.. makes me so hungry.

    I could eat that everyday!

    Fitness Fabulous wrote on September 13th, 2009
  20. Can’t wait to try it out.

    Donna wrote on September 13th, 2009
  21. I make a crock pot version of this yesterday – before I read your post! And I haven’t even seen the movie yet…cooking beef in red wine is pretty common in my kitchen. I love how it turns out!

    Mary wrote on September 13th, 2009
  22. Utterly gorgeous. Thank you so much.

    Gwennie wrote on September 13th, 2009
  23. This one is definitely getting saved for the book!

    And please, JULIE Powell is a self-glorifying quasi-foodie with no obvious cooking talent. JULIA Child was a master chef and a hoot. I don’t think even her husband ever called her Julie!

    Licarrit wrote on September 13th, 2009
  24. I’ve seen this film twice: once with my girlfriend and once with my husband. All three of us decided we MUST make Boeuf Bourguignon. Finally got Julia’s book (had to special order – not an original idea apparently). We can’t wait to try it. Thanks for posting a primalized version. It looks and sounds heavenly.

    BTW, that is an incredible movie I highly recommend to all.

    BestSelf wrote on September 13th, 2009
  25. In SE France we have our own version called DAUBE. I think the main difference is the addition of black olives 😉

    Jedi wrote on September 14th, 2009
  26. I modified this a bit and used a slow cooker… it is friggin fabulous…

    Chunster495 wrote on September 14th, 2009
  27. I have been dying to make this and am so glad you posted a simplified version here. Thanks, Mark!

    Kim Birch, Nutrition & Weight Loss Coach wrote on September 17th, 2009
  28. I made this tonight, and it was fabulous! I served it with mashed cauliflower. Thanks for the recipe!

    Julie wrote on September 17th, 2009
  29. Made this last night for a dinner party. Husband and friends were blown away! Thanks for the great recipe!

    Darcy wrote on September 19th, 2009
  30. Just wanted to drop a line here, long time lurker first time poster; AWESOME recipe!! Less than a meal out with all four in my house and WAY better! After the meats cooked threw the mushrooms in and cooked for 2 and 1/2 hours and everyone was blown away. Thanks Mark!

    captbitter wrote on September 19th, 2009
  31. I just have one suggestion for this recipe. Use: Burgundy not Chianti! And I always have at least two bottles of whatever specific bottling of Burgundy you’ll be using in the recipe; one for the pot and at least one (depending on number of guests) for drinking. :)

    Why not Chianti you ask?

    Using Chianti would, by definition, make it a “bovino di Tuscana.” The name of the dish is boeuf Burguignon. In English, beef in the style of Burgundy. I doubt there’s a Frenchman in the entire province of Bourgogne who has ever used Italian wine to make this dish. Chianti can be very nice in a beef braise with Italian style ingredients. The wine used truly does define the final flavor of the dish, and a true Burgundy lends a rich flavor I have not found with any other red wine.

    Chianti tends to be very earthy, dry, musty, and can sometimes smell ‘barnyardy’ (as in even a hint of manure in the aroma). Chianti lovers find those qualities positive, others don’t. Some people are down right turned off by the Chianti aroma…. I know that even though Julia Childs lists Chianti as a decent second choice after Burgundy, Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone, and Bordeaux, I think it’s a poor substitute. Her recipes often make understandable accomodations to the American market, as they are intended for the American home cook. Now I understand her inclusion of Chianti to be a reflection of the American wine market, which has changed a lot since the Sixties. It’s still not necessarily easy to find less expensive bottles of the preferred French wines, but even an inexpensive, young, American pinot noir, will, for purposes of cooking, come a lot closer to the flavor of the classic dish. Just try to use wine that you would drink. The first time I made it, I did use Chianti, but then to fix the flavor, I had to take clues from the Italian Peposo, a rustic beef shank stew. Basically, to improve the taste, I had to put in a boatload of black pepper.

    Isa wrote on February 13th, 2010
    • I’m not a wine drinker, so know very little about wines. I used a Cabernet Merlot. How would that compare to a Burgundy or Chianti? I just put dinner in the oven now, so I’m hoping it turns out to have been a good alternative!

      Beth H wrote on April 22nd, 2015
  32. What is the best way to cook this with a slow cooker? I am going to make this for a dinner party on Sunday, but I don’t want to screw it up in the slow cooker. Suggestions?

    Livetoride wrote on March 3rd, 2010
  33. I made this yesterday for some SAD friends. They loved it! I think it might be the tastiest thing I’ve ever cooked.

    Laura wrote on March 29th, 2010
  34. This is like the most awesome dish!! just love it–but, have to make a double batch because dh, dd and I finished this off quickly–had planned on it for more than 1 night, but turned into dinner for 1 night and lunch the next day!! Highly reccomend!

    Spinner wrote on June 21st, 2010
  35. I made this dish with the chianti. It was the best dish I ever had.

    Patty wrote on July 24th, 2010
  36. I’m about to make this dish, but I do wish the recipe was more specific as to how large a ‘casserole’ dish to use for this. I’ll experiment this time using my cast iron dutch oven. I don’t think my any of my proper casseroles are big enough. Thanks!

    Tiki Jane wrote on January 9th, 2011

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!