As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
This is Anthony Bourdain’s famous beef bourguignon. And it’s worth all the effort.
A Timeless Classic
Beef stew or beef bourguignon, is the quintessential comfort food since it’s warm and delicious. As a result, there’s many recipes for it as well as cooking methods.
This one comes from the one-and-only Anthony Bourdain. And who knew more than he about great cooking? I was a huge fan of his and when I saw his recipe in a recent Washington Post edition I had to make this.
This recipe leans more toward the French than the American. It does contain one ingredient that some may not find on the shelf at their local grocery, but it is an optional ingredient. However, I do urge you to use it and I will give a source for it.
This is the optional ingredient. There are shortcut methods to making it and even substitutions. This is one instance where I say don’t bother making it–buy it. If you live in a larger metro area, it’s likely you’ll find this in the aisle where stocks and broths are or where browning sauce and gravies are located. I bought mine off of Amazon and it was pretty reasonable. It also has many uses and it’s shelf stable so it won’t go bad.
It does add a special something to this bourguignon so I do encourage you to use it. However, the stew will taste awesome even if you don’t.
No, it’s not a typo. This recipe uses four, yes four onions.
But here’s the scoop. They all cook down and actually thicken the sauce. It sounds ridiculous, I know. But that’s what happened. Even a good friend who is not “into” onions didn’t detect any overpowering flavor and in fact, she loved this stew.
Copycat Anthony Bourdain's Beef Bourguignon
- 2 lb boneless beef shoulder or chuck cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup olive oil divided
- 4 medium onions halved and thinly sliced
- 2 tbs all-purpose flour
- 1 cup red burgundy wine such as pinot noir
- 6 medium carrots peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 bouquet garni a tied bundle of herbs, typically thyme, bay and parsley
- Demi-glace optional
- Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish
- Thoroughly pat the meat dry with paper towels and generously season it with salt and pepper.
- In a Dutch oven over high heat, heat half of the oil until shimmering. Working in several batches, and without moving the meat much, sear the meat on all sides until well browned, adding more oil as needed. (If you try to cook too much meat at once, it will steam and turn gray instead of brown.) Once the meat is well browned, transfer to a plate.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the onions and any remaining oil to the pot. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the onions have softened and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and, using a wooden spoon, stir, scraping up all the browned bits (fond) off the bottom of the pot.
- Once the wine starts to boil, return the meat and its accumulated juices to the pot, and add the carrots, garlic and the bouquet garni. Add 1 1/2 cups of water (and about 2 tablespoons of demi-glace, if you have it). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until the meat is tender, 2 to 2 1/2 hours, skimming off any foam or oil that might accumulate on the surface. Check on the stew every 15 to 20 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent scorching or sticking.
- As you check on the stew, continue adding 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water, as needed, up to 2 1/2 to 3 cups total — to ensure there is enough liquid to cook down and concentrate. If the stew begins to stick, reduce the heat to low. The onions should fall apart, creating a thick, rich sauce that coats the meat.
- When the stew is done, discard the bouquet garni, taste the stew and season with more salt, if desired. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.