Classic Beef Bourguignon is easier than you think

Classic Beef Bourguignon is easier than you think

Here’s the classic Beef Bourguignon from Julia Child.  It’s the essential one pot meal that will have you crying it’s so good.

When I was a kid, my mom had Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and she still has it in her kitchen today as do I.  It’s a hard back megalith cookbook with these cute little turquoise dots (stars) and orange flowers (fleur de lis) with no pictures.  Whaaaaaat???!!!  When I first started cooking I was completely intimidated by it.  

Is Julia Child’s cookbook hard to use?

However over the years, I’ve come to enjoy actually reading cookbooks cover to cover, Julia Child’s in particular.  Even though there aren’t any photos, her wit and humor shine through and, of course, her recipes are spot on.  

Sauté mushrooms

I love Julia Child’s meticulous attention to detail.  She writes the mother recipe first and then how to make variations from there.  I love her picks for side dishes and wine.  She leaves nothing uncovered.  Not only that, I feel good opening her book and spending time with her in the kitchen.  Crank up a little Edith Piath and open a bottle of Louis Jadot, oh heck yeah!  I am so in Paris!!!  Julia and I are so totally rockin’ BFFs!  (Ok, sorry about that last bit.  That was little much, a little too much Louis Jadot talking there.  If I committed some kind of culinary sacrilege…  my apologies.)

Saute onions

Read the Beef Bourguignon recipe below.  Here’s the link to Julia Child’s PBS web sight.  Make the recipe.  Go out and get her book, or click on the Amazon link below.  It’s priceless.  It’s historic.  It’s delicious.  While you’re at it buy her videos, kiss your sweetheart like you mean it, donate to PBS, and take in a rescue dog or cat.  Your life will be better for it.  I promise.

beef bourguignon nested on rice placed with peas, onions and mushrooms

Common Beef Bourguignon Questions:

  • Is beef bourguignon hard to make? – No absolutely not!  It takes about 20-30 minutes of easy prep and then it simmers on the stove or in the oven (your choice!) for 3 hours.
  • Does beef bourguignon freeze well? – Yes!  It freezes very well for up to 4 months.  I find heavy duty freezer bags with sliders work best.
  • What’s the best way to freeze beef bourguignon? – If you are using freezer bags, let it cool completely, fill the bags 3/4 of the way, take out as much air as you can, and freeze it flat on the bottom of your freezer.  Once it’s frozen you can stack it like a book on it’s side.

Disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate and may get a small percentage if you purchase the book from this link.

Below the beef bourguignon recipe, I’ve added 2 of my favorite side recipes: sautéed mushrooms and buttered peas, plus a fast breadstick recipe.  All 3 of these are ridiculously easy and great to have on hand.

Beef Bourguignon

This recipe is a classic and it's easier than you think. Try this Beef Bourguignon recipe and it will one you back to again and again! |

Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Keyword beef bourguignon
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 376 kcal
Author Julia Child's recipe adapted by Madalaine


  • 6 ounce bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds lean beef arm roast, tip roast, stewing beef
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 1 onions sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt kosher
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour all purpose
  • 3 cups red wine*
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 bunch parsley chopped


  1. On the stove, place bacon with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a fireproof casserole 3 or 4 inches deep or a medium soup pot over medium heat.  Sautee until slightly brown.  Remove bacon and set aside.

  2. Heat fat and oil until almost smoking.  Cut beef into 2 inch hunks and dry with a paper towel.  Season with salt.  Place a few pieces in the hot oil and brown them on all sides.  Keep them about 2-3 inches apart so they don't steam.  Remove the beef and add it to the bacon.

  3. Add the sliced carrots and sliced onion to the pot and brown them.  

  4. Return the beef and the bacon back to the pot with the vegetables.  Lower the heat to medium low and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, pepper, and flour.  Stir to combine and cover for 5 minutes.  

  5. Stir again and recover for another 5 minutes.  This browns the flour and gets rid of any raw flour taste.

  6. Pour in the wine and enough of the beef stock to just cover the meat.  Add tomato paste, garlic, and herbs.  

  7. Stir everything to together and bring to a simmer.  Cover the pot and turn the stove to low.  Let it simmer slowly for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  The meat is done when it is fork tender.

  8. After the meat is done, strain the contents into a colander over a large straight sided saucepan.  Wash out the casserole pan or soup pot and return the beef to it. 

  9. To skim off the extra fat, place the saucepan on the stove and simmer.  As the liquid heats up the liquid fat will be pushed to the center and can easily be scooped off.  You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  If it is too thick, add more beef stock.  If it is too thin, boil rapidly to reduce it until it thickens.

  10. Taste sauce and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.  Pour it over the meat.  

  11. Cover the casserole or soup pot and simmer for 3 minutes, basting the meat several times.  If you've made sautéed mushrooms, peas, and/or onions you may wish to add them to the sauce at this time. Sprinkle with parsley right before serving.

To Make Ahead:

  1. Complete recipe up to pouring the strained sauce back over the meat in the cleaned casserole or soup pot.  Let it cool and refrigerate up to 3 days.  If freezing, let it cool completely and store in zip lock bags, removing as much air as possible and freeze for up to 4 months. Sprinkle with parsley right before serving.

  2. To serve if refrigerated, take off any additional hardened fat and slowly simmer for 20 minutes.  To serve if frozen, thaw in the refrigerator over night or run under water until you can transfer it to your casserole or soup pot.  Simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley right before serving.

Recipe Notes

*For the red wine use a full bodied young red wine such as a Pinot Noir, Chianti, or Beaujolais.  If you would drink it with the meal, it is suitable for the sauce.

When choosing sides for this dish try some of the following: buttered parsley potatoes, sautéed mushrooms, buttered peas, braised onions, noodles or rice, a fresh garden salad, and a loaf of crusty French bread.

Bon Appetite!  

Nutrition Facts
Beef Bourguignon
Amount Per Serving
Calories 376
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sautéed Mushrooms

Sautéed mushrooms are a delightful side to your favorite beef or chicken recipe. Splash in a little sherry and make them extra special! Yum! |

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword mushrooms
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 people
Calories 144 kcal
Author Madalaine


  • 16 ounces fresh mushrooms cleaned & quartered
  • 1 teaspoon salt sea
  • 2 ounces dry sherry
  • 3 tablespoons butter unsalted


  1. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat.  After foam subsides, add mushrooms and toss to coat them with butter.

  2. As the mushrooms absorb the butter, the pan will dry.  Stir occasionally for 6 minutes.  The mushrooms with start to brown and then release their juices.

  3. Add the sherry and salt.  Let the mushrooms simmer for 5 more minutes, stirring them infrequently.

Recipe Notes

Keep the mushrooms warm until you are ready to serve them.  They keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  You can also freeze them for up to 4 months in freezer bags, but remove as much air as possible.

Nutrition Facts
Sautéed Mushrooms
Amount Per Serving
Calories 144
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Buttered Peas

Buttered peas go so well with beef bourguignon, chicken piccata, pork wellington or any of your other favorite dishes.  Use unsalted butter so you can control how salty they are.  Easy, fast and so tasty!  |

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Madalaine


  • 10 ounce frozen peas
  • 4 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons salt sea


  1. Put butter, salt, and stock in a small pot over medium heat until melted.

  2. Pour frozen peas over melted butter and stock.  Stir. Cover for 15 minutes.


Parmesan Breadsticks

My family loves these parmesan breadsticks because they're buttery and crispy.  I love them because they're fun, easy and FAST to make! Everybody wins! |

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword bread
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 sticks
Calories 160 kcal
Author Madalaine


  • 1 box frozen puff pastry sheets thawed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh herbs minced
  • 5 tablespoons fresh parmesan cheese grated


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat (like silpat).

  2. Whisk egg and water together in a small bowl to create an egg wash.

  3. Place a sheet of the thawed puff pastry dough unfolded onto a floured surface.  Brush egg wash over the top of the pastry, sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs & cheese.

  4. With a knife or pizza wheel, cut each dough sheet into 6 equal strips.  Twist each strip and place on the baking sheet.  Pinch them as needed to secure the twist.

  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.  If you pick up a stick and it droops, bake for 4 more minutes.  Cool on a rack until ready to serve.

Make Ahead:

  1. Make these ahead completely and store in a zip lock bag after they have cooled completely.  Before serving, heat them in the oven at 400 degrees for 4 minutes.  Then serve immediately.

Recipe Notes


  1. Instead of fresh herbs, use dried herbs.
  2. Instead of any herbs, try curry powder
  3. Switch ground pepper for paprika 
Nutrition Facts
Parmesan Breadsticks
Amount Per Serving
Calories 160
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.



Related Posts

Discover Durnstein, Austria on the Danube and an Apricot Tart Recipe

Discover Durnstein, Austria on the Danube and an Apricot Tart Recipe

Jump to Recipe Print RecipeJump to recipe: Apricot Tart Recipe A couple years ago, Jerry and I took an AmaWaterways river cruise down the Danube.  I had never taken a cruise before so I really had no idea what to expect.  I was blown away!  […]

Turmeric Honey Glazed Carrots

Turmeric Honey Glazed Carrots

Jump to Recipe Print RecipeJump to recipe: Turmeric Honey Glazed Carrots  Cooking with kids is a lot of fun.  Cooking for kids can be a real challenge.  Their taste buds are young and are super receptors.  The acidity of a tomato, the bitter skin of a […]

2 thoughts on “Classic Beef Bourguignon is easier than you think”

  • This is terrific. I don’t know why I don’t make this more often, esp. when we want to have a few folks over…it’s tried and true…absolutely delicious! Yay, Madalaine! You really nailed it!

    • Thanks! Don’t you think this would be great with M’s Salad and Ian’s flourless chocolate cake for a dinner party menu you can make the day before?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *