France: Beef Bourguinon with Crispy Potatoes

Beef b

It seems when people think of beef bourguinon these days, they think of Miss Childs or that highly annoying blogger from Julie & Julia. She must be the only person EVER who has lost a boyfriend because she cooks too much. The classic SHOULD make you daydream of dining by candlelight on a cold Parisian night. Bliss.

Beef bourguinon was one of my culinary firsts at Le Cordon Bleu, making it a favorite winter go-to. Only one note: avoid turning your beef into boot strap leather by making sure you get some good color on it before you start stewing. Other than that, let it do it's thing while you do yours.

RECIPE (serves 4):


  • 2 1/2 lbs stewing or chuck beef
  • 3 slices center cut bacon, cut into small pieces (optional) 
  • 3 large potatoes ( i used maris piper)
  • 25 small pearl onions, peeled
  • 10 slice large button mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 large sprig of fresh thyme, dried is fine too
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bottle cheap red wine
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • lots of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pat of butter
  • salt and pepper


  • Roll the beef in seasoned flour
  • Brown beef on all sides in oil (with a little butter). Make sure they are good and brown so the meat doesn't lose its moisture during cooking. When done, remove from heat.
  • In the same pan, cook pearl onions until they have a light brown exterior. Remove from heat.
  • Repeat with bacon (optional) and then add mushrooms. This should not take very long at all (we don't want them to go mushy).
  • Add meat back into the pan.
  • Add the bottle of wine, chicken stock, garlic, thyme, bay leaves to the meat.
  • Simmer on a VERY low heat for at least 1.5 hours
  • When you are nearly ready to serve, toss in the onions and mushrooms and cook for 25 more minutes. You are done!

for the potatoes:

  • While the stew is bubbling away, set your oven to 425F/220C and make your potatoes.
  • peel and slice the potatoes VERY thin. You can use a mandolin if you have one.
  • Par boil your slices in a pot over the stove for about 5 minutes until they are a bit softer.
  • Drain and let them air dry
  • Arrange on a sheet so they overlap and coat with olive oil
  • Bake until brown and crunchy.. sprinkle with rock salt.



Posted on October 10, 2013 and filed under main event, soup, world travel.