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Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon recipe, simplified

Julia Child's beef bourguignon puts a smile on my face. Beef bourguignon is very forgiving and turns out absolutely fantastic every time. Don’t be intimidated.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Calories: 4397kcal


  • 2-½ lbs beef chuck shoulder, cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 6 oz bacon, cut into 1" squares (1-½ c)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1-½ c carrots, cut into 1" pieces
  • 1-½ c yellow onions or shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 c dry red wine like Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 2 c beef stock or bouillon
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or a couple fresh sprigs
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • 10 pearl onions (optional, but nice addition)


  • 10 oz cremini (button) mushrooms, quartered or halved, depending on size
  • 2 tablespoon butter (or more as necessary)
  • 2 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • Olive oil as needed
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Additional Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoon flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 lb egg noodles


  • Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium heat.
  • Add the bacon (it should sizzle). Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. 
  • Add beef cubes (make sure they sizzle when touching the oil) and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  • Add carrots and onion (or shallots) and stir for about 3 minutes. Season with ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Add the cooked bacon and browned beef cubes, add 2 tablespoon flour, give it a really good stir, and cook for 2 minutes. 
  • Add 2 cups red wine, 2 cups beef stock, 2 tablespoon tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, and pearl onions. Bring to a boil. Stir and reduce to a simmer. Now, it’s time to put the lid on. 
  • Stir every 15 minutes or so to make sure you’ve got a good simmer going and nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. 
  • After about 1-½ hours, it should be ready, or close to it. Now is a good time to taste. Don’t sweat it if it still seems a little strong on the wine taste. It’ll mellow. But make sure it doesn’t need any more kosher salt. 
  • Now that the beef bourguignon is almost ready, we’re going to sauté the mushrooms. In a large frying pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoon butter until it slightly bubbles and foams. 
  • Add minced garlic for just 30 seconds (you want them fragrant but not burned) and add the mushrooms. 
  • Stir, add a little olive oil (or more butter) if you think the mushrooms are too dry). Season with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the sautéed mushroom-garlic-butter mixture to the Dutch oven and give it one more last stir.
  • Serve over your favorite side dish. In my case, that’s buttered extra-wide egg noodles.
  • Sprinkle with chopped parsley and pour everyone a nice glass of red wine. 



Calories: 4397kcal | Carbohydrates: 423g | Protein: 242g | Fat: 154g | Sodium: 5348mg | Potassium: 6573mg | Fiber: 28g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 13655IU | Vitamin C: 66mg | Calcium: 518mg