beef Bourguignon


Beef Bourguignon is a recipe of French origin that for good reason has become popular around the world.

This is a long-winded recipe, but worth the effort for a special occasion. No need to worry about drunk driving. After 3+ hrs. of simmering, all the alcohol will have evaporated. What remains is pure flavor. Like most stews, this one tastes even better the next day. Make it a day ahead if you can.

In French cuisine, this sauce is derived from espagnole and demi-glace. I don't bother with that. This sauce is not even prepared separately, but is made in the same pot while the meat is stewing.

The 3 defining ingredients of this sauce are bacon, mushrooms and red wine. When you have those three, the rest is pretty much optional and if you leave some of them out, the sauce will still be recognizable.

For the same or a very similar (beer instead of wine) sauce, see also: coq au vin, hunter's sauce and granny's chicken.


This is what you need for 6-8 servings:

  •  3 lbs. boneless beef chuck
  • ¼ lb. thick-sliced bacon
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, quartered if large
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • butter / olive oil
  • flour
  • 8 potatoes
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
    (preferably Burgundy or Côtes du Rhône)


  • bouquet garni
    1 4” piece of celery, 4 fresh parsley stems (no leaves), 4 fresh thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, 2 cloves, 1 tsp. peppercorn
  • ½ cup brandy
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste or tomato powder
  • up to 2 cups pickled pearl onions, drained
Pic1: beef Bourguignon



Pic2: brown
Pic3: stew
Pic4: mushrooms separately



Optional: pickled pearl onions


Finishing up:


Pic5: all together now
Pic6: served
Pic7: with fries

If made for the following day, allow to cool and refrigerate.