Boeuf Bourguignon with pastaAs the cold weather approaches, my tastes start changing.  After months of craving chilled Rosé or Pinot Grigio, I start to want deeper, richer wines.  I'll start with rich, buttery Chardonnays, turn to Pinot Noirs, and eventually end up wanting only the biggest, boldest reds, like Cabernet Sauvignons.

My cooking starts to reflect this change, too.  I begin to shun salads, and leave the grill alone for weeks.  I cook soups, roasts, and rich, thick stews.  My favorite way to combine my cravings?  Cooking with wine, of course!  Today, let's talk about a classic: Bouef Bourguignon (you can call it Beef Bourguignon or Beef Burgundy too; I won't judge).

This is my grandmother's recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon.  It uses a good dry red wine, like Burgundy or Chianti, and it'll satisfy those cravings for a dish rich with the flavors of wine.  Enjoy!

Grandma's Boeuf Bourguignon


1 3-pound filet of beef, trimmed and cut into large pieces

1/4 lb bacon, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups wine

1 1/2 cups beef stock

1 T. tomato paste

A few sprigs of thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 pound pearl onions, peeled (you can buy already-peeled frozen ones to save yourself the work)

8 carrots, cut into large slices

2 T. butter, room temp, and 2 T. flour (to make a roux)

1/2 pound white mushrooms, sliced

minced parsley for garnish


Heat a pan over medium-high heat.  Salt and pepper the meat.  In a few tablespoons of olive oil, brown the meat on both sides until it is nice and brown on the outside but very rare inside, 2-3 minutes per side.  Remove the meat and set aside.

Turn down the heat under the pan to medium-low.  Saute the bacon until browned and crisp.  Drain all but 2-3 tablespoons of fat from the pan.  Add the garlic and cook for no more than a minute.

Deglaze the pan: pour in the wine, and with the heat turned up high, scrape and swirl the pan until you've loosened all the delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan.  Add the stock, thyme, bay leaf and tomato paste, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, turn down to a high simmer, and let it cook for 10-15 minutes.

Strain the sauce and return it to the pan.  Add the onions and carrots and let simmer until cooked (20-30 minutes).

In a small bowl, mix the 2 tablespoons of flour and 2 tablespoons of butter until it forms a paste.  Whisk into the sauce.  Simmer for a few minutes until it thickens.

Saute the mushrooms in butter over medium-high heat in a separate pan until tender and browned.  Add them, along with the beef, and the bacon, to the pan with the sauce and vegetables.  Reheat for 5-10 minutes.  Check for seasoning.  Serve in shallow bowls with pappardelle, mashed potatoes, or a baguette.  Garnish with parsley.