Frugal Recipe: Easy Beef Bourguignon

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Easy Beef Bourguignon. Do those three words even go together?

Recently made famous by the movie Julie & Julia, Julia Child's recipe for Beef Bourguignon is a culinary masterpiece…that I never want to replicate in my own kitchen. That was my personal vow after I watched the movie. Seriously. The recipe itself is about 8 pages long and the number of ingredients alone makes my head spin. What's the big deal anyways- it's beef stew. I don't even really like beef stew, unless you dump about a tablespoon of salt and pepper on it.

But I'm a sucker for a challenge and really did want to see what all the fuss was about. Now I've reviewed many, many recipes and tweaked them all into something I feel is manageable and dare I say- easy. Really. I was completely surprised at how quickly it all came together. And the end result…is absolutely incredible. Truly delicious. It's rich, tender and tastes like no beef stew I've ever had. My husband and I fought over the leftovers and I find myself wanting to throw a dinner party just so I can wow everyone with my fancy creation.

The main inspiration and directions for this recipe came from I served it over smashed potatoes {think unpeeled, fast mashed potatoes} but you can easily serve this alone, with a side of Lion House Rolls or French Bread to sop up the leftover juices. Yum.

**Note: Since this recipe is greatly simplified, some might say it's technically not Beef Bourguignon, but instead an elaborate Beef Stew. I'm okay with that.

Easy Beef Bourguignon

6 oz bacon, fried and crumbled {I used 5 slices}
4 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp minced garlic
2 lbs trimmed beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes, patted dry with paper towels
Salt and freshly ground pepper
about 1/4 cup of flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup sliced carrots
1 1/2 cups of red cooking wine**
2 cups beef stock or canned beef broth
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 bay leaf
1/2  tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp allspice
 8-oz container of sliced mushrooms

**In lieu of cooking wine, you can use grape juice, apple juice or instead, use a total of 3 1/2 cups beef broth.


1. Fry the bacon pieces until they're crispy. While the bacon is cooking, cut the beef up into 2″ cubes and lightly pat dry with paper towels. Put 1/4 cup of flour in a small bowl and add a few shakes of both salt and pepper. Coat the beef pieces in the flour and set aside until the bacon is done cooking.

2. Once the bacon is crispy, set it aside on a paper towel. Leave the bacon fat in the pan and add an additional 2 TBSP olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the beef and brown all sides. Meat doesn't have to be cooked completely, but you want the sides to get nicely browned.

3. Dice onions and slice carrots. Crumble the bacon slices.

4. Once meat is browned, transfer it to a bowl. Don't wash out the pan or feel like you have to scrape the pan out each time. Add another 2 TBSP olive oil and warm that up over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the diced garlic, onions and carrots. Toss the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the beef back into the pan, along with the bacon.

5. Add remaining ingredients, except for the mushrooms. Start with the cooking wine, adding it in all at once and allowing it to boil slightly before adding in anything else.

6. Stir stew to combine spices with the other ingredients. Cover and simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring once every hour or so. Remove the lid for the last hour of simmering, to allow the stew to thicken.

7. About 15 minutes prior to serving, add the mushrooms.

8. Serve as a main dish alone, or atop mashed potatoes.


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9 thoughts on “Frugal Recipe: Easy Beef Bourguignon

  1. Anonymous says:

    I want to make this but no one in my family will eat ANYTHING with mushrooms in it. You think it would be okay without them?

  2. Sak says:

    I'm so excited to try this easier recipe. I made the one from simple recipes and I thought it was a lot more work than I wanted to put into it! I like good food…fast. I'll try this over the weekend. I have to say the sauce that the wine makes is soooooo delicious! My family loved it.

  3. Utah Deal Diva says:

    Anon- our family LOVES mushrooms, so I put them in a lot of dishes…however, I don't think you'll miss much if you leave them out. Really, the hilights of this dish is the meat and sauce. The meat is sooo tender from cooking it a few hours and the sauce really is unique and delicous. I hope you like it!

  4. lottiedottie says:

    We just had some homemade beef stew last night that is very similar to this, however, instead of simmering on the stove, just throw it all into a crock pot (and cook for 8 hrs on low.) You can brown or not brown the beef beforehand (but it is tastier browned first). And the recipe calls for some tapioca (2T.) to thicken. Anything to make it even easier to cook, right?!

  5. Maricela says:

    I just had to tell you that I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicioso!! I loved it. I left out the mushrooms because of the complaints I would have gotten from my family, however, I think that I will add them next time because they won't even be able to tell they're in there. Thanks for sharing!!

  6. Alice says:

    I made this yesterday and it was so good! I left mushrooms out because I don't like canned- but fresh would be great.

    Way better than my usual beef/vegetable soup.

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