There’s really nothing more comforting than a French beef stew – the classic Boeuf Bourguignon – on a chilly evening. It’s elegant and rustic at the same time, and works just as well for casual weeknight meals as it does for celebrations and holiday dinners.
Popularized in the US by the legendary Julia Child, the Boeuf Bourguignon should be a staple on any home-cooks repertoire. And while Julia Child’s recipe is pretty extensive and labor intense, Honest Cooking’s version is incredibly easy to make, difficult to mess up, cheap – and it always impresses.
One of the things that intimidates a lot of folks when it comes to making Boeuf Bourguignon is that the original recipes all call for using a Dutch oven. Our version does not – instead, it gently simmers away on the stove top for a few hours. No special equipment needed here, and the result is just as good.
BASIC RULES OF BOEUF BOURGUIGNON
1. You can’t rush it.
Sorry, if you only have 45 minutes before you need to eat – this is not the dish you should throw yourself at. Because while prep is very straight forward and simple, the stew needs time, the more time the better – but at the very least 2 hours (preferably 3-4 hours) to really get the juices flowing and the meat to become as tender as we’re looking for.
2. Buy cheaper cuts of beef.
No need to get all fancy and buy rib-eyes or NY strips. Get a proper slab of beef chuck roast, and cut it into 2.5 inch cubes. You can get 3 pounds of chuck for $15 in most grocery stores, and it will last your family for days.
3. You need bacon.
Preferably lardons, which is small cubes (or strips) of bacon, but if you can’t find it at your local grocer – buy the nicest bacon you can afford. It will add so much flavor to your stew!
4. Wine matters!
No, you don’t have to pour your finest bottle of wine into your Boeuf Bourguignon, but if you can – try to go for a richer, bolder wine to bring extra intensity to your stew. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel all work really well for this recipe.
5. Serve with potatoes.
Small, boiled new potatoes are great. Mashed potatoes are much better. And luckily for you, we have the perfect recipe for incredibly fluffy mashed spuds right here on Honest Cooking.Print
Kalle Bergman is a food writer and media entrepreneur who is the founder of Honest Cooking and PAIR Magazine. As a food writer, his writing has been regularly featured in publications like Gourmet, Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post and Serious Eats. He is obsessed with simple food, more often than not from his native Scandinavia.