Beef Bourguignon with the Sippers

Julia Child's Beef Bourguignon

Seldom do we start off a weekend without any plans and, with owning a busy photography business, these weekends are few and far between!  Our weekend began with a relaxing Friday evening on the sofa in front of the TV.  Yes, sometimes you just have to chill and partake in some channel surfing! We came across the movie Julie & Julia and since Jeff and I both love cooking…. and eating,  and we missed the movie while it was showing on the big screen,  we decided to watch it.  We were both fascinated by all the fabulous meals that were prepared and loved Julia’s accent!  “Butter” everything is better with butter and lots of it!

The next day we headed to Barnes and Noble to buy a copy of her culinary classic,  “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”.  Thumbing through the index, I zoned in on Beef Bourguignon otherwise known as Beef Stew with red wine, bacon, onions and mushrooms.   I had Jeff at “Bacon” and we decided to test our mad cooking skills in the kitchen that evening! We were so proud of ourselves – it was nothing short of sensational, especially paired with a Mouton Cadet Bordeaux…AMAZING!!!! I have to say that it was fun to cook together.  I just love when you can combine your passions: for us food, wine and photography; and cooking is another art form that inspires us to be greater!

Beef Bourguignon
Julia Child's classic recipe adapted by the Sippers
  • 6 ounces of chunk bacon
  • 3½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 onion , sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups red wine, young and full-bodied (like Beaujolais, Cotes du Rhone or Burgundy)
  • 2½ to 3½ cups brown beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cloves mashed garlic
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • A crumbled bay leaf
  • 18 to 24 white onions, small
  • 3½ tablespoons butter
  • Herb bouquet (4 parsley sprigs, one-half bay leaf, one-quarter teaspoon thyme, tied in cheesecloth)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, fresh and quartered
  1. Remove bacon rind and cut into lardons (sticks one quarter-inch thick and one and a half inches long). Simmer rind and lardons for ten minutes in one and a half quarts water. Drain and dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Sauté lardons in one tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole pan over moderate heat for two to three minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
  4. Dry beef in paper towels; it will not brown if it is damp. Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time, and sauté until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the lardons.
  5. In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables. Pour out the excess fat.
  6. Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with one half teaspoon of salt and one quarter teaspoon of pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly. Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for four minutes.
  7. Toss the meat again and return to oven for four minutes (this browns the flour and covers the meat with a light crust). Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  8. Stir in wine and two to three cups stock, just enough so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to a simmer on top of the stove. Cover casserole and set in lower third of oven. Regulate heat so that liquid simmers very slowly for three to four hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
  9. While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms. Heat one and a half tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling in a skillet. Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about ten minutes, rolling them so they will brown as evenly as possible. Be careful not to break their skins. Add one half cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the herb bouquet.
  10. Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herb bouquet and set onions aside.
  11. Wipe out skillet and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.Toss and shake pan for four to five minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.
  12. When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and lardons to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.
  13. Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about two and a half cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer two to three minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.
Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley. Enjoy :-)


I was intrigued by this book before I saw the movie and now I know why!!

Cheers, Dana & Jeff
Sipper Photography

Simple + Modern+ Casual

Sipper Photography is an award-winning husband and wife team specializing in wedding, family, and event photography. Recently featured in Glamour magazine and included in MyFoxLA’s HotList of top five wedding photographers.

15 Responses to “Beef Bourguignon with the Sippers”

  1. Magic of Spice October 13 at 2:18 pm #

    Nicely done…most definitely a classic. Gorgeous photo :)

  2. Faith October 13 at 5:45 pm #

    I’m glad you got to stumbled on Julie & Julia, it was a cute movie! :) Mmmm…I’m definitely craving beef bourguignon now!

  3. Nancy@acommunaltable October 13 at 9:09 pm #

    Ah, a true classic! Met Julie Powell at an event earlier this year – a very interesting gal to talk to!! Julia’s book is truly a classic and filled with many wonderful recipes!

  4. Dana Sipper October 13 at 9:21 pm #

    Loved the movie & recipe, I am so glad we got to share our post with your readers. We love the Shescookin blog!

  5. Monet October 13 at 9:29 pm #

    Oh Julia! I made her croissants over the weekend, and they were delicious (although a lot of work!) This looks yummy too. Thank you for sharing another one of her classics. Have a great Thursday!

  6. megan @ whatmegansmaking October 14 at 5:34 am #

    I’ve made this as well, and it’s incredible! One of my favorite meals. It’s a lot of work, but worth it :)

  7. RavieNomNoms October 14 at 8:03 am #

    This looks great! By the way, I selected you for these questions that help others get to know you and your blog better! Hope you can play along with this little game.


  8. sensiblecooking October 14 at 2:19 pm #

    Oh yummy. Loved the movie so got the book and love every recipe in it.

  9. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron October 14 at 3:29 pm #

    How did you like a movie and the book? I watched this movie on a plane last year and then my friend gave me the cookbook. I havent touched on any recipes from the book at all! haha

    this beef stew is a popular one and you guys did a great job delivering it to a table! I wish my husband loves to cook so that we can cook together. it’s so romantic in my opinion. Alisha told me you were going to Paris later this month. I’m going this weekend and i’m so looking forward to it!

  10. Priscilla October 14 at 7:46 pm #

    Thanks everyone! I loved the movie and bought the 2nd edition of “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” (pictured).

    @Nancy – How great that you met Julie Powell! You’ll have to share some of her recipes!

    @Tanantha – Too bad we aren’t going to be in Paris at the same time! Can’t wait to hear about your experiences!

  11. Jean at The Delightful Repast October 16 at 8:53 am #

    Hi Priscilla, having grown up watching Julia Child on television with my mother (a favorite mother-daughter activity) and having met and chatted with Julia several times during the last few years of her life, naturally I went to see the movie as soon as it came out. It had me craving the bouef bourguignon I hadn’t had in years, but it was AUGUST–too hot to be making it then. I think it was March before I made it (and blogged about it). It is sooo good!

  12. Nancy/SpicieFoodie October 17 at 8:18 am #

    The movie was cute, now I would love to see a movie just on Julia Child’s life. Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci should reprise their roles too. Thanks for posting the recipe, I really need to try it sometime. Looks mouthwatering!

  13. Kim October 17 at 8:45 pm #

    I love a good boeuf bourguigon. :0) Our go-to recipe belongs to Julia Child, too. Our edition was gifted to Mr. RGBistro in the 70s. It’s falling apart now, but a joy to read through. Can’t wait for another cold autumn evening so we could get the stove going!! [K]

  14. Sommer @ A Spicy Perspective October 18 at 12:53 pm #

    Nothing…NOTHING beats Julia’s Beef Bourguignon! Great post!

  15. Dana Sipper October 18 at 1:52 pm #

    Thanks ladies for all of the comments on our dish from the famous Julia Child!

    Tanantha- hopefully you and your hubby can try making the dish together soon! I agree it is kinda romantic to cook together. :-)

    Cheers to all of you!

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