Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon

Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon ~ the ultimate homey dish from the Queen of comfort food herself!  This easy beef stew will quickly become a family favorite.

I have to say right up front that I am a little biased…Ina Garten is by far my chef.  She’s like Martha without the ego, Julia without ‘the voice’ and the crazy techniques, Nigella without the suggestive spoon licking,  Rachel without the hyper-chatter, and Paula without the gooey this and gooey that.  She’s kinda perfect.  In a good way.

I could have chosen a million different dishes to make in honor of Ina, but I chose Beef Bourguignon because it represents a lot of what she’s all about.  I would classify Ina’s style as simple, classic American comfort food, influenced by a passion for French life and cuisine. She and her husband Jeffrey made a four month sojourn to France early in their marriage that inspired a lifelong love of all things French. Throughout her career Ina has explored French cooking and has infused a French attitude towards food into her classic American dishes.  Here she’s taken the venerable Beef Bourguignon, a dish that Julia Child taught us to make in excruciating detail, and simplified it… made it more friendly.

Her recipes are so well loved that they have a tendency to morph into family favorites and become so entrenched in our kitchens that we claim them as our own…her Parmesan Chicken has become one of ‘my’ signature dishes, the way so many recipes from the Joy of Cooking or Fannie Farmer have been been assimilated into our food culture over the generations.  Part of the reason for this is that Ina’s recipes are almost always foolproof.  You can count on them.

For me, anyway, the appeal of Ina’s cooking style is that it’s not overly ‘branded’; it’s not regional, ready in 30 minutes, diet-friendly or swimming in butter.  From coconut cupcakes and lemon curd to lentil soup, it’s real food for real people, and whatever Ina is cooking is always exactly what I feel like eating.

But Ina’s franchise is as much about a lifestyle as it is about recipes.  It’s the dreamy Hamptons New York world of cute little butcher shops, cheese mongers and creative florists whom Ina calls upon to help her craft parties, gatherings, or even just a special dinner for two.  It’s a world where you walk outside your kitchen door into a sprawling herb garden, your adoring husband (and biggest fan) is always arriving home from work or a business trip just in time for his favorite perfectly roasted chicken, and neighbors pop over eager to barter something amazing in exchange for a batch of your brownies.

And somehow Ina manages to convey all this without a hint of superiority or entitlement. Maybe it’s her self-effacing giggle, that adorable upturned nose, or the swing of her impossibly shiny bob.  She’s your dear friend next door, the aunt you always wanted, your best inner self.

Did I mention that I love Ina?

For more of Ina inspired recipes on the blog…

 

Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon

Yield: serves 6

Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 8 ounces dry cured center cut applewood smoked bacon, diced
  • 2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, sliced diagonally into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine such as Cote du Rhone or Pinot Noir
  • 1 can (2 cups) beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (use a gluten free flour or thickener if desired)
  • 1 pound frozen whole onions
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms stems discarded, caps thickly sliced

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 250F
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is lightly browned. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
  3. Dry the beef cubes with paper towels and then sprinkle them with salt and pepper. In batches in single layers, sear the beef in the hot oil for 3 to 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove the seared cubes to the plate with the bacon and continue searing until all the beef is browned. Set aside.
  4. Toss the carrots, and onions, 1 tablespoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pepper in the fat in the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the Cognac, stand back, and ignite with a match to burn off the alcohol. Put the meat and bacon back into the pot with the juices. Add the bottle of wine plus enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Add the tomato paste and thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it in the oven for about 1 1/4 hours or until the meat and vegetables are very tender when pierced with a fork.
  5. Combine 2 tablespoons of butter and the flour with a fork and stir into the stew. Add the frozen onions. Saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of butter for 10 minutes until lightly browned and then add to the stew. Bring the stew to a boil on top of the stove, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste.

 Notes:  I was too chicken to ignite the cognac, I just let it evaporate ‘naturally’.  I also added the carrots along with the mushrooms towards the end of the cooking process instead of in the beginning with the onions.  I really don’t like mushy carrots.  I skipped the bacon (I was out) and used half the bottle of wine.  It all turned out wonderfully.

 

 

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Jackie
    September 21, 2018 at 5:27 pm

    Hi Sue, I doubled Ina’s beef bourguignon for 10 and sure hope it’s enough. I will serve over Spatzle noodles with salad and of course French bread plus dessert. Since the recipe has onions why add the frozen pearl onions?

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 21, 2018 at 6:01 pm

      Hi Jackie ~ the first onions break down in the gravy as the stew cooks and serve as a flavor base, so I add the pearl onions because they stay intact and give an extra layer of flavor and texture to the stew. You can certainly leave them out if you like. The noodles sound delish!

  • Reply
    Calera 2014 Pinot Noir · VINEXX
    July 18, 2018 at 10:44 am

    […] Ina Garten’s Bouef Bourguignon […]

  • Reply
    mary
    January 3, 2017 at 8:17 am

    which of Ina’s cookbooks does this recipe come from?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 20, 2017 at 7:36 am

      I’m not sure this one is from one of her books, Mary, I think she made it on tv.

  • Reply
    Michael Benami Doyle
    April 24, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Ina didn’t found Barefoot Contessa. She bought it from the original owner after it was already a success. Ina’s real notoriety happened when she began publishing her and the store’s recipes.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 24, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      you’re right — I fixed it :) thanks Michael!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    March 3, 2015 at 6:31 am

    A tablespoon of salt sure seems like too much. Did anyone else think so and adjust this amount? I’m making this soon and would like some feedback. Thanks.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 3, 2015 at 6:49 am

      I would taste as you go, Elizabeth, and adjust it to your liking.

  • Reply
    Shabbat Inspiration
    December 5, 2014 at 9:41 am

    […] Beef Bourguignon […]

  • Reply
    Colleen S
    July 26, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    You very perfectly put into words, exactly how I feel about Ina. So funny to me how people can have such similar experiences, but her cinnamon bun recipe that I found online years ago is ‘my’ Christmas morning cinnamon bun recipe.

  • Reply
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen
    March 19, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I’m a big Ina fan and so glad you’ve chosen her Beef Bourguignon. It’s one of my favorite French classics and you’ve showcased it beautifully.
    Sam

  • Reply
    Lori
    March 19, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I love how you described Ina. That is spot on! I really like her too. Your dish looks beautiful!

  • Reply
    BeetleBuggy
    March 18, 2012 at 4:14 am

    Simply beautiful, just like Ina! Sue, you should seriously try the flambe next time, trust me, it’s fun! I was extremely scared the first time I tried it too and stood as far as my arms would let me. But, when I finally got the flame, I was thrilled to bits and was super proud of myself LOL

  • Reply
    Yasmeen
    March 18, 2012 at 3:31 am

    You’ve done Ina proud – your bourguignon looks divine! Perfect for these cooler Autumn days we’re having over on this side of the world.

    You know, people knock Ina. But I really admire her. She has such classic taste in food and preparation, and a clear appreciation for simple recipes that bring people together.

  • Reply
    Claudia
    March 17, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    I admit – I’m entranced by Ina’s “Hampton-world.” I’ve never made this dish (I’ve made Julia’s, Dorie’s, Clothilde’s) so it’s time to see how Ina’s version does. From the looks – scrumptious.

  • Reply
    Liza in Ann Arbor
    March 17, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    Yep, I’ve made this one before as well. Oh how I love Ina!

  • Reply
    Gerlinde in Dallas
    March 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    I agree with you that Ina Garten is right up there. I used to give away her cookbooks as gifts for friends.. her recipes are simply wonderful!

    You picked a nice dish, btw. :)

  • Reply
    The Slow Roasted Italian
    March 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Great post Sue. I am an Ina recipe fan. I love how she turns complicated into something a novice could do, but taste like it was made by a professional chef.

    I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but now its on my list!

  • Reply
    MyFudo™
    March 17, 2012 at 3:32 am

    What a lovely and relaxing dish…Can’t wait for the weekend ;)

  • Reply
    A Trifle Rushed
    March 17, 2012 at 10:11 am

    She’s not so well known here, but I am a great fan, I first found her when she used to write a column in Martha Stewart’s Living, and started collecting her recipe books. They are so inspiring, and clearly written. A great cook to highlight and I adore this simple sort of classic French recipe.
    Have a great weekend, and Happy St Patrick,s Day, Jude x

  • Reply
    Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes
    March 17, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Gee, I thought I left a comment on this this a.m., maybe it didn’t go through, I’m using a “mifi” in Maine.

    What I said, I think, was I’m a huge Ina fan, and your beef bourguignon looks delicious! When I think of this dish it reminds me of Julia, I just adore her!

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