My Mum's Beef Bourguinon- An Ode to Julia Child

Beef Bourguinon

After my magical monthly pilgrimage to Julia Child's kitchen at the American History Museum, I dug out one of my original posts from Singapore with the my mum's beef bourguinon recipe. A French classic, it was introduced to many American families by Julia. At six foot three and with a sharp sense of humor and a love of imperfection, she truly was one of a kind and my personal foodie hero. Thanks Julia and (of course thanks to mum..... and the French). Here we go from 2008 in Singapore, I write...

The couple Elana and I are staying with/torturing requested boeuf bourguignon as their Sunday supper, claiming it is their favorite dish of all time. When people say "favorite" I instantly get heart palpitations as this means they had this orgasmic bourguignon experience while visiting the French countryside with their first love and their life has never been the same since. Oh mon Dieu! It is; however, unlike me to step down from a challenge and I stepped into kitchen (which do not normally include air conditioning in Singapore) and cooked this baby for 3 delicious hours.

I have to say my final product turned out lovely. They were highly complimentary and, whether true or not, this makes me feel instantly better. How many years did I spend learning the language of love? Eleven. Do I still sound like redneck? Yes. This, I have accepted, will never change but my culinary skills redeem my horrible linguistic slaughter. N'est-ce pas?

BOEUF BOURGUIGNON with Crispy Potatoes
serves 4


  • 3 large potatoes ( i used maris piper but you can use whatever you like)
  • 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 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 so they are a bit softer.
  • Drain and let them dry a little bit
  • Arrange on a sheet so they overlap and sprinkle with olive oil.
  • Bake until brown and crunchy.. sprinkle with rock salt
Posted on June 6, 2015 and filed under main event, world travel.