Jims Galley

Jims Galley

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Boeuf Bourguignon by Julia Child with a JB Cast Iron twist!

As many times as I have made beef stroganoff and basic beef stew, I never tried Julia Childs recipe for boeuf bourguignon.  So with a wife that is always supportive of me trying something new in the kitchen I thought I would give it a try.

When I went online to research this recipe, I found that there certainly was many variations on the recipe and most of them resulting in some shortcuts. While looking at the recipes there were a lot of people that added bacon and carrots which I thought was a great idea. Not sure about her book, but on her TV show there was no mention of bacon, carrots, celery, or parsley.

My version of this classic dish is almost an exact replica of the original recipe however the above-mentioned ingredients were used and they were fantastic.

The biggest difference is that my version uses all cast iron for both braising and slow cooking. In my opinion nothing sears and braises better than cast iron, therefor making better deglazing for sauces and better caramelization. Here are the only differences between JB’s recipe and the original.
Nothing browns like cast iron!

We used in addition to the original recipe:

All cast iron for all the cooking


Italian Parsley

Thick bacon or Virginia Cured Ham (I used sliced ham)

Braised Pearl Onions with butter and white wine.

Very thin slices of celery


I am not sure why Julia made the roux gravy at the end of the recipe, I would have done it earlier in the process, but I stuck to her recipe and made the sauce 1 hour before it was finished. Total bake time was 4 hours.

You can follow Julia’s recipe HERE on youtube for details, I followed her exact recipe with the above-mentioned additions and it truly was a fantastic dish.

Here we go.

First cook your sliced bacon and set aside. Next take your cut chuck and braise in a cast iron skilled with a little olive oil. Do not crowed the meat. Once braise set in a covered roasting pot or dutch oven. Add the bacon.

Now Sautee (olive oil & Butter) the mushrooms then set aside. Julia does this later but I liked having the schrooms as a part of the deglaze. Once sautéed set aside. Now prepare your  onions and sautee them in white wine and butter in the skillet. Be sure that the pearl onions get some caramelization on them.  Once done, set aside. DO NOT PUT IN DUTCH OVEN YET.
Set schrooms and onions aside and add during last hour of cooking

Next sauté the carrots, celery, garlic, shallots in butter and some red wine. Once done add to the meat in the pot.

Now deglaze the skillet with about two cups of red wine and then add to the pot.

At this point you will add salt and fresh thyme, bay leaf, and parsley then fill the pot with red wine and a cup of beef stock until everything is covered. Add Italian parsley and tomato paste.

Put in oven at 325 for 3 hours. Then take out and strain the broth out into a bowl. Now make a roux in the skillet with butter and flour then add the broth to make a gravy. Once done, put everything back into the dutch oven. Now add your pepper some salt and maybe a little water plus some butter.  This is the stage when you will also add the pre-cooked pearl onions and mushrooms.
After 3 hours make roux and add to stew, bake another hour to finish
Bake for 1 additional hour and serve on pasta, rice, or potatoes. I made rosemary russet potatoes for a side and it was wonderful, My wife insist on large egg noodles. She got her wish.

Very glad we made this, it truly is excellent!
* Be sure to braise the pearl onions in butter. Get a good caramelization on them. Also slice the root end so the onions will hold together. (just a thin slice inwards)
* Use a decent quality of red wine.
* Always use olive oil & butter when sautéing.

* No Shortcuts! Don't throw everything in at once to save time like you would in a crock pot stew. Also be sure to put the onions and schrooms in during the last hour, not for the first 3 hours.

* Spring Onion Garnish

* Use unsalted butter

* Re season skillet when finished.