Thursday, August 20, 2009

Julia Child's Boeuf Bourguignonne Reinvented

I know, this is so kitschy of me to be posting about the recipe made famous by the movie "Julie and Julia." But I dare anyone to say that they weren't hungry for Boeuf Bourguingnonne after they saw that movie. And if you weren't, there's something wrong with you. The beautiful thing about this dish is that it can be made gluten free so easily (simply omit the 2 T flour that coats the meat).

So, I've wanted to make that dish since I saw that movie two weeks ago and without reading the recipe I bought some stew meat at the grocery store, thinking that was the meat I needed for this recipe. Wrong! The better the cut of meat, the better this dish is. It's true. I'm not knocking stew meat, I just didn't have three hours to slow cook it to make it super tender. I would suggest filet mignon, a rib-eye or tri-tip steak, or your favorite cut of tender beef.
I decided to look up the recipe online, and when I saw that there were 30 steps to making it, my jaw fell and my creative brain started turning. I knew I had to have dinner on the table within an hour and a half and I didn't have time to do all the steps required. So I changed the recipe to suit my needs. Which, I have to say, I'm getting pretty good at now that I've been living gluten-free for six years. Julia Child may be turning over in her grave right now, but I have made a quicker version of her famous dish that has fewer steps. And, while I will be the first to admit that the original version will probably yield better, tastier results, this version is faster, also very flavorful and tasty, and easy to get on the table. This is not Julia Child's recipe. Just so we're clear.

Margo's Boeuf Bourguingnonne

4 slices of bacon or 2 slices of ham, diced
1 T olive oil
3/4 lb- 1 lb of your favorite beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 carrot, peeled and cut up
1/2 to 1/4 diced onion, or 2 T dried minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 T tomato paste
1 cup Swanson's beef broth
1 cup Burgundy cooking wine
2-3 sliced mushrooms
2 bay leaves
2 T butter
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 T cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a large dutch oven, brown the bacon or diced ham in the olive oil. Remove and set aside. Dry off meat cubes in paper towel before placing in drippings. Brown on both sides over medium heat in the drippings. Add carrot, onion, and garlic. Add tomato paste, beef broth, and cooking wine. Bring to a boil and let reduce down for a few minutes while you saute the mushrooms. In a medium sized frypan, melt butter. Add sliced mushrooms and garlic salt. Brown mushrooms, trying not to crowd them in the pan so they will brown easily, about 5 minutes. When mushrooms are browned on both sides, add to meat mixture with bay leaves. Stir. Place covered pan in 450 degree oven for 8 minutes. Then turn heat down to 350 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. (I baked mine uncovered because I wanted a really thick, flavorful sauce, but I think if you cover it the meat will be more tender. It's up to you.) Take meat and vegetables out of pan with a slotted spoon, leaving sauce in the pan. Bring sauce to a boil. Add cornstarch dissolved in water and mix constantly with a whisk until desired gravy consistency. Serve with mashed potatoes or Tinkyada noodles.

Happy eating!


  1. I'll admit it - I was among those who seriously contemplated rushing home to make this recipe. Or Sole Meunier. Did you love the movie,or what?!

  2. I loved it so much. I cried when she met Avis. I have no idea why. And I loved her sister and the whole "I'm in love with a short man" thing they had going on. I was sad she didn't like the girl's blog, but whatever.

  3. Go, go, go! And you didn't make me some? I am dying for some and have every kind of beef available from the cow. 30 steps you say? Arg.


Blog Design by April Showers