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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 12 2009

Beef Burgundy

By Mark Sisson
72 Comments

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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.


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72 thoughts on “Beef Burgundy”

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

    1. This dish is in the oven right now as I type. The aroma is unbelievable! Can’t wait to test the flavor.

  2. I’m so making this! Bet it can be done in a crock pot too. Thanks so much!

  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.

  4. That looks amazing. Now I need to make this recipe AND watch the movie.

  5. Oh my. . . .thanks ever so. I have a feeling this recipe will become my new special occasion favorite!

  6. 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.

  7. 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?

  8. watch out for 365 brand they wont disclose their GMO status…organicconsumers.org

    1. Why does it take you to a site about premature ejaculation when you click on your name?

  9. 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.

  10. 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….

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

    Cheers!

    1. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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.

  17. In SE France we have our own version called DAUBE. I think the main difference is the addition of black olives 😉

  18. I modified this a bit and used a slow cooker… it is friggin fabulous…

  19. I made this tonight, and it was fabulous! I served it with mashed cauliflower. Thanks for the recipe!

  20. Made this last night for a dinner party. Husband and friends were blown away! Thanks for the great recipe!

  21. 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!

  22. 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.

    1. 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!

  23. 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?

  24. I made this yesterday for some SAD friends. They loved it! I think it might be the tastiest thing I’ve ever cooked.

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. This recipe will knock your socks off!!! It’s so worth the time. Make it immediately!!

  28. This turned out amazing! Took some time but well worth the wait. My boyfriend said its restaurant quality.

  29. I’m French, and i’ve done this recipe several times before I ever heard about the Paleo diet.
    As said, it’s quite easy to make, though it has too cook for several hours (the longer the better, up to 6-7 hours is ok, on the stove top). Actually a lot of French stew dishes could be considered primal : fat meat, lots of vegetables, cooked in stock with herbs and spices.
    For example, you can make the same recipe with a rooster (or a big chicken) instead of beef, that’s the “coq au vin”.

  30. I just made this with grass-fed beef and organic veggies. Wow! It was so tasty. I added kale to the mix. I served it over mashed cauliflower. Will definitely be making again.

  31. I just made this and my husband & 2 sons (ages 10 & 12) loved it! I just wish I would’ve doubled the recipe…

  32. (I know I’m going to get abuse here, but I have to ask…)
    Does anyone have a substitute idea for the red wine?? I’m allergic to Tannins and red wine makes me violently ill (think Linda Blair in The Exorcist!!) Would white wine be an acceptable sub, or totally change the flavour?
    (I guess that would make it Beouf Blanc-ignon then! LOL)
    Might try the white and report back….
    Any suggestions welcome 🙂

    1. A white wine will definitely change the flavor, but if you are willing to eat the results, try it first with a smaller portion of beef. (There are coq au vin recipes using either red or white wines.) You could also make the dish without the wine, using additional beef stock–it won’t be the same, but would still be tasty, similar to pot roast cooked without wine.

      I watched the movie and fell in love with Julia Child (I had pretty much ignored her all my life.) Beef burgundy was the first recipe of hers that I made, using my homemade Concord grape wine, which turned out to be perfect for this dish. Not long after, I discovered marksdailyapple.com and was delighted to find that many of Julia’s main dishes are completely primal.

  33. Your description of this dish is nothing short of amazing. I am headed to the store now to gather the ingredients and get this beautiful process underway! Thank you for the primal inspiration!

  34. Please, please, please include metric measurements for your recipes! I so want to make this for my hubby and in-laws today, before they leave for the Netherlands tonight, but I just don’t think I’ll be able to convert it and still have time to make it for this evening :(.

    For future reference, how many servings does this recipe make?