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Julia Child's Beef bourguignon stew with chunks of meat floating in sauce
4.34 from 3 votes

Beef Bourguignon

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

Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Keyword beef bourguignon, beef stew, julia child beef recipe
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 (0 g)
Calories 376
% Daily Value*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 0mg0%
Potassium 0mg0%
Carbohydrates 0g0%
Fiber 0g0%
Sugar 0g0%
Protein 0g0%
Vitamin A 0IU0%
Vitamin C 0mg0%
Calcium 0mg0%
Iron 0mg0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.