Beef bourgignon is the ultimate classic. To have made it is to know good cooking, and it just might be the best stew ever. With meat so tender you can cut it with a spoon, flavors so rich, you’ll wish you made a triple batch. Why not start now?


Read my Holiday/Winter 2015 issue!

Serves 6-8

You will need:

For the Onions:
11⁄2 tablespoons butter
11⁄2 tablespoons good olive oil
2 cups pearl onions, peeled
1 bay leaf
4 stems parsley
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1⁄2 cup dry white wine
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

For the Mushrooms:
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
2 cups small cremini mushroom

For the Stew:
21⁄2 lbs grass-fed beef chuck, cut into 2" cubes sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
6 oz slab bacon, cut into 1⁄4" lardons
1 large onion, chopped
1  tablespoon good olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 bottle red wine
2 to 3 cups beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
3 springs fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems
1 bay leaf, crumbled
3 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 1" chunks
2 tablespoons flour
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

  1. Start with the onions. In a medium enameled pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter sizzles. Add onions and sauté for 10 minutes or so, rolling them around to brown all surfaces.
  2. Wrap the bay leaf around the parsley and thyme sprigs and tie into a bundle with kitchen twine.
  3. Pour the wine into the pan and add the herb bouquet.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and bring the mixture to a boil.
  5. Lower heat and cover, simmering for 30–40 minutes, or until onions are tender but still keep their shape, and the liquid has evaporated.
  6. Remove pan from heat and discard spent herb bouquet.
  7. If you have prepped the onions in advance, refrigerate them once cooled to room temperature. Otherwise, set aside.
  8. Over high heat in a medium-to-large heavy-bottomed pan, melt butter and olive oil until foaming subsides, then add the mushrooms. Sauté for 5 minutes or so, regularly agitating the pan to move the mushrooms about. When they have browned a bit, remove them from the pan.
  9. If you are preparing this in advance, allow the mushrooms to come to room temperature and then refrigerate. Otherwise, set aside.
  10. Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat cubed steak dry and season with salt and pepper.
  11. n a Dutch oven or other heavy- bottomed pot, brown lardons over medium heat, about 3-5 minutes.
  12. Drain lardons from fat and set aside.
  13. In same pot, brown cubed beef in the bacon fat a few pieces at a time, turning onto each side to achieve that pleasing, dark crust. Remove the browned beef as you go, adding it to the dish with the lardons.
  14. In the same pot, sauté the onions until tender, about 7–10 minutes, adding a glug of olive oil should you need to. Remove from pot and set aside.
  15. Add browned beef back to pot, scatter flour to coat, and place onto center rack in oven to toast flour for 4 minutes.
  16. Remove pot from oven, agitate it to toss meat a bit, and return for another 4 minutes.
  17. Bring pot from oven to stove, set to medium heat, and turn oven down to 325°F.
  18. Stir in the wine and then the stock, so that the liquid just barely covers the meat. dd tomato paste, garlic, onions, herbs, carrots, and lardons. Stir.
  19. Bring to a simmer, cover, and place in the lower third of the oven.
  20. Slowly roast in oven for 2–3 hours, regulating the heat so that the liquid bubbles slowly.
  21. The stew is ready when meat is easily pierced with a fork.
  22. If you prepared the onions and mushrooms in advance, bring them from the refrigerator, remove their lids, and allow them to come to room temperature.
  23. Add the mushrooms and onions to the nished stew and give a good stir.
  24. Serve with boiled potatoes or good crusty bread.


Both the braised onions and the buttered mushrooms can be prepared a few days in advance, or alternatively, cooked while the stew bubbles in the oven.

Photography by Food+styling+photography by Melina Hammer

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