Boeuf Bourguignon (Grass-fed Beef Stewed in Red Wine)

Boeuf Bourguignon (Beef Stewed in Red Wine)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Also good with our Grass-fed Sirloin Tip or Round Steak. The better the meat, the better the stew. Using Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by Julia Child, Helm learned to make this dish and is now known for serving Helm's Beef Stew on special occasions during the long Vermont winter months. Here's how he makes it.
Recipe for: GRASS-FED BEEF
Cut of Meat: Frozen Butcher Stewing Beef
  • 6 oz chunk of bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 lbs beef cut into 2 inch cubes and dried in paper towels
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups of full-bodied red wine (Helm uses ??????)
  • 2-3 cups beef stock
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 2 teaspoons thyme
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 18-24 small white onions, peeled
  • 1 lb mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • Parsley sprigs
  1. Remove rind from chunk of bacon, and cut bacon into sticks that are approx. ¼ inch thick and 1½ inches long. Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 1½ quarts of water. Drain and dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Using a deep, 9-10 inch casserole dish that can be used on the stove top and in the oven, saute the bacon in the oil over moderate heat for 2 - 3 minutes until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, remove the bacon to a side dish.
  4. Reheat the casserole dish until the fat is almost smoking. Add the beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Remove the beef and set aside with the bacon.
  5. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the sauteing fat. Remove casserole from burner.
  6. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss it again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return to oven for 4 minutes more. (This browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust.) Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  7. Stir in the wine, and enough stock or bouillon so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs, and bacon rind. Bring to simmer on top of the stove. Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of preheated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 3 - 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
  8. While the beef is cooking, brown the onions in the stock and sauté the mushrooms in butter. Set these vegetables aside until needed.
  9. 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 bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.
  10. Skim the fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 21/2 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 of stock or bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables (onions and mushrooms). Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.
  11. FOR IMMEDIATE SERVING: Cover the casserole and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times. Serve it in the casserole, or arrange it on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles, or rice, and decorated with parsley.
  12. FOR LATER SERVING: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 - 20 minutes before serving, bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer very slowly for 10 minutes, occasionally basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce.
Fortunately, you can prepare this dish completely ahead, even a day in advance, and it only gains in flavor when reheated.

As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good boeuf bourguignon. Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, and can well be the main course for a special dinner or a buffet.