Boeuf a` la Bourguignonne (Beef Stew with Pearl Onion, Bacon, and Mushrooms)


Have you ever seen the movie “Julie and Julia”? When I saw it, I thought what a fun idea to cook your way through an entire cookbook! The problem is that I have so many cookbooks with so many good recipes, I wouldn’t know where to begin. One year for my “New Year’s Resolution:, I decided that once a week I would make a recipe that I had never personally made before and let my extended family know how much my husband and I liked it or didn’t like it. Here we are a few years later and more or less, I am still kind of doing the same thing šŸ™‚ Back to my original point, in the movie, Julie (played by Amy Adams) makes Julia Child’s Boeuf a`la Bourguignonne. Now I don’t have Julia Child’s cookbook, but this being a French dish, basically a beef stew, and my husband being French Canadian and loving his meat and potatoes, I thought this is perfect!!! Let me tell you…this dish is AMAZING!!! However, it is not a dish you can whip up after a long day at work. After marinating the meat overnight, it takes over 3 hours (longer if you are working during baby’s nap times), but it is definitely worth the wait! My husband kept stating that this is his favorite meal that I’ve ever prepared, and the way he savored every bite, I believe him! šŸ™‚

3 1/2 lbs beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2 chunks (I had the butcher do this)
2 1/4 cups dry red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
2 med onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch sections
1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch sections
3 garlic cloves, smashed
Bouquet garni (1 bay leaf and 3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, tied together with a piece of string)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 slices thick-sliced bacon, diced
1 cup beef stock
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups (10 oz) pearl or boiling onions, blanched and peeled, or frozen pearl onions
1/2 lb cremini or button mushrooms, quartered
1 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 C chopped flat-leaf parsley


In a large bowl, combine the beef, 2 cups of wine, the chopped onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and bouquet garni. Marinate at room temperature for at least 2 hours, or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator (I kept in the refrigerator overnight and started preparing early in the morning)


Strain the meat and vegetables from the wine, reserving the wine. Separate the meat from the vegetables. Pat the meat dry and season it with salt and pepper.

meat pat dry

Heat a large, heavy pot over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until it is crispy and brown, then transfer the bacon to paper towels.


Slowly add the marinated beef to the hot bacon fat. Don’t crowd the pan or the meat won’t brown. Depending on the size of the pan, you may want to brown the meat in two or three batches. Let the meat brown on one side before turning it.

browning beef

Once all the meat is browned, return it to the pan, add the marinated vegetables, reserved wine marinade, and beef stock. Bring mixture to a simmer, cover, and turn the heat to low. Check the pot after about 5 minutes to make sure that it isn’t simmering too high. You want a little bubble every few seconds, but not a boil. Cook for about 2 hours, or until the meat is very tender when pierced with the point of a knife.

adding for 2 hour cook

Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of the butter, the pearl onions, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brown the onions, giving them a toss every now and then to keep them from burning.


After 5 minutes, add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they are soft, about 5 minutes.


Add the remaining 1/4 cup wine and cook until no liquid remains in the pan, about 1 minute. Set aside.

onion and mushrooms

When the stew is done, strain the meat and vegetables, being sure to reserve the liquid. Cool the meat and vegetables, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside. Pick out the bouquet garni and discard. Return the liquid to the pan and heat over medium heat until it boils, then cook down until about 1 1/2 cups of liquid remain, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


Mix the flour and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter together with a fork, then whisk into the simmering sauce.

flour and butter

The sauce will thicken and become velvety. Return the meat and vegetables to the pot and add the onion-mushroom mixture along with the bacon. Heat the stew to a simmer to reheat all the ingredients. (I kept the stew at a low simmer for about an hour).
simmering stew

yummy stew

Sprinkle the parsley over the stew and serve hot directly from the pot.

stew in bowl

Don’t worry if you have leftovers, it almost seems better the next day if that’s even possible šŸ™‚

Enjoy šŸ™‚

Recipe adapted from: The Take-Out Menu Cookbook. How to Cook IN the Foods You Love to Order OUT


1 Comment »

  1. Katherine said

    Looks delicious! Will be trying this recipe this winter for sure!

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