Boeuf Bourguignon

A warm bowl of yummy goodness

Cooking is another activity that I greatly enjoy — regarding both the creation and the consuming. This dish in particular — Anthony Bourdain’s Boeuf Bourguignon — is one that I’ve been working on perfecting during the pandemic, as it’s both simple and complex at the same time. The ingredients are few and it doesn’t require much pre-preparation; however, it does need frequent checking during the cooking process, and the flavors reflect the care that’s lavished upon it.

Anthony Bourdain’s Boeuf Bourguignon

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Rating: 5 star
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A wonderful comfort dish for the colder months.


  • 2 pounds boneless stew beef, 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 tablespoons 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)
  • Water
  • Demi-glace (optional; see headnote)
  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


  1. Thoroughly pat the meat dry with paper towels and generously season it with salt and pepper.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. When the stew is done, discard the bouquet garni, taste and season with more salt, if desired. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.


Calories: 414; Total Fat: 29 g; Saturated Fat: 10 g; Cholesterol: 81 mg; Sodium: 129 mg; Carbohydrates: 12 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugar: 5 g; Protein: 21 g.


Image info:
A bowl of boeuf bourguignon
January 2021
Apple iPhone 12 Pro

4 thoughts on “Boeuf Bourguignon

    1. Yes…

      However, I’ve found a dedicated slow cooker beef stew recipe that’s dynamite! Unlike the lengthy and time consuming recipe from Bourdain, this one takes about 10-minutes to prep and get into the slow cooker, and then you just walk away from it until it’s done.

      How do they compare? The Bourdain recipe really is superior in flavor, but it’s more expensive to make, takes much more time to prep, and requires being near the stove the entire time to monitor the stew and skim the surface of the liquid – per the recipe.

      By contrast, the slow cooker recipe has about 90% or more of the flavor, costs far less to make, literally takes mere minutes to prep, and requires no monitoring during the lengthy cooking process.

      We have switched over to the slow cooker recipe, albeit with my own adjustments – which are as follows:

      We get generic pre-cut “stew beef” from the store. We buy all of our meat from Costco, but I’ve checked and many grocery stores offer “stew beef” as well. We do NOT pre-sear the meat.
      Instead of creating our own time-consuming Demi-glacé, we use Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base ( – which we have found to deliver very similar flavor results. I’ve created my own Demi-glacé and purchased commercial Demi-glacé while trying to massage Bourdain’s recipe into something less time-consuming, but the Better Than Bouillon (BTB) solution is the ticket. Also, we just take a heaping tablespoon of the BTB and mix it with a 1 ½ cups of boiling water to pre-dissolve it – and that’s the only water used in the entire recipe – the rest of the liquid is all wine.
      We use cheap burgundy box wine for the bulk of the liquid in the recipe. If we can’t find that, any cheap box red wine will suffice – though there are flavor differences with the drier red wines. Sweeter red wines result in a better flavor profile. Lastly, I usually add more wine once after the first hour of cooking, and then add no more.
      Getting the onions sliced as thin as possible is essential, because the long cooking process converts them into liquid. I’ve found that using a kitchen mandolin at the thinnest setting can deliver paper-thin slices that work perfectly.
      For the garlic, I use a garlic press.
      I don’t use a bouquet garni; instead, I just use bay leaves and thyme – fresh or in spice jars.
      I ditch the carrots, potatoes, and celery stalk in the recipe, and replace them with mushrooms. Cooking potatoes that long tends to make the liquid mealy and the carrots change flavor as well. If you want to use them, cook them separately and add them just before serving.

      In this fashion, the slow cooker recipe is fantastic.

      Liked by 1 person

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