Healthy Recipes: Beef Bourguignon

This cold weather classic is an all-time favorite recipe of Chef Kyle Williams, head chef of our Live Blue Kitchen + Café. Beef Bourguignon is a stew of meat simmered slowly in red wine along with pearl onions, mushrooms and crisp, cubed bacon.

This recipe yields 2-3 gallons (serving 6-8 servings).


For the stew:

  • 4-6 lbs. – beef, for stewing, cut into 2” cubes
  • 1 cup – bacon, thick cut diced or cubed (lardon style)
  • 3 cups – carrots, peeled and medium diced
  • 2 cups – celery, medium diced
  • 1 cup – yellow onion, peeled & diced small
  • 2 cups – pearl onions, peeled, whole
  • 2-3 cups – mushrooms, cut in half
  • 2 Tbsp. – fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. – fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3-4 cups – dry red wine (French Pinot Noir or Côtes du Rhône only)
  • 1 cup – Cognac or Brandy
  • ¼ cup – tomato paste
  • ¼ cup – garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • To taste – salt
  • To taste – black pepper, ground
  • 3-5 quarts – beef stock – enough to more than cover
  • 3 each – bay leaf
  • As needed – butter – for finishing
  • For cooking as needed – oil
  • ½ cup – parsley, fresh chopped

For the roux:

  • 1 cup – butter
  • 1 cup – flour

For the mashed potatoes:

  • 8 each – Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1-3 cups – whole milk
  • ½ cup – heavy cream
  • 2-4 Tbsp. – butter
  • As needed – salt & pepper

Garnish options:

  • Baguette, fresh baked
  • ¼ cup – fresh chopped parsley
  • Fresh cracked pepper and fresh gray sea salt

Method of Preparation:

  1. Beginning Stew 
    Add 2 Tbsp. of oil to a large pot on high heat. Add meat seasoned with salt & pepper to pan and begin searing until edges of meat are golden dark brown, 2-4 minutes.
  2. Remove the meat from pan and rest it on side plate.
  3. Add bacon, both onions, carrots, and celery to pan with oil as needed to sauté. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 1 minute.
  5. Deglaze with red wine and 1/2 cup of cognac. Stir all the crusted food particles on bottom of pan. Allow to simmer for 2 minutes.
  6. Add meat back to pot, beef stock as needed, fresh herbs, bay leaf and tomato paste. Mix in. Season to taste. Place lid on pot and simmer with small bubbles. Do not rapid boil. Turn heat to low / medium low. Needs to simmer for 1-2 hour minimum.
  7. For Mashed Potatoes
    While stew is cooking, in medium pot, bring pot of salted water to a boil and cook potatoes until tender. Make sure potatoes are covered in water while cooking. Drain water and add butter, milk, cream, salt and pepper to mashed potatoes. Mix until incorporated. Season to taste and reserve on side hot.
  8. For Roux
    In sauté pan on medium high heat, add butter, melt and simmer. Once melted, slowly stir in enough flour with wooden spoon until resembles consistency of wet sand. Cook on low 5 – 10 minutes until it smells like lightly toasted nuts. Remove from pan and place in dish and reserve cold until ready.
  9. To Complete Stew
    Remove lid and taste. If too thick add more beef broth and/or water.
  10. Add ½ cup of cognac and allow to simmer.
  11. While stew is simmering, whisk in roux only 2 Tbsp. at a time. Once thick, stop adding the roux. It may not need all the roux that is made.
  12. Once done, remove from heat and whisk in cold butter, fresh parsley, and season to taste with salt & pepper and, if desired, more cognac.
  13. For plating
    In entrée shallow bowl, add 1 cup scoop of mashed potatoes, ladle 1-3 cups of beef stew next to mash, garnish with fresh chopped parsley and buttered baguette, and optional garnish of fresh cracked pepper & sea salt.
  14. Suggested to serve with glass of Pinot Noir wine from Burgundy France.

Chef Notes:

  • May omit roux if desired. Adding more tomato paste will thicken stew.
  • Leftovers can be frozen and enjoyed on a rainy day.

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