Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon

This week we’re up to #39 on Gourmet’s list of the 50 Women Game Changers in the world of food: Ina Garten—White House nuclear policy analyst turned food phenomenon. Ina ran the Barefoot Contessa, a Hamptons New York gourmet specialty shop, is the author of seven cookbooks, and has hosted her own series of Food Network shows since 2002. Thanks to Mary from One Perfect Bite for organizing a group of us cooking and blogging our way through this list, one dish at a time.  Check back every Friday for another story and recipe from the list.

I have to say right up front that I am a little biased…Ina Garten is by far my favorite game changer.  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.

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.
https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/beef-bourguignon-ina-garten-39-on-gourmets-list-of-women-game-changers/

 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.

Did I mention that I love Ina?

Ina Garten's Beef Bourguignon

 

38 Comments

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

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

  • 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!

  • Reply
    Veronica Gantley
    March 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    I can remember the first time I made her beef bourguignon. It is a bit simpler than Julia Childs. Just as tasty though. This screams comfort.

  • Reply
    Victoria
    March 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I’m on my way over…

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    March 16, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I love Ina too. I’ve always enjoyed everything I’ve made from her books and they always go over well with a crowd! I love that picture of the thyme in the cup. Beautiful pictures.

  • Reply
    From Beyond My Kitchen Window
    March 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    I was just over at Spice Garden and realized I made a lot of Ina’s recipes. I feel the same way you do. Everything I have ever made has come out top self. This one happens to be one of our favorites. Great photos.

  • Reply
    Thyme (Sarah)
    March 16, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    O.k. you have me totally convinced! I love Ina too! No really, I do. You reminded me how much I enjoyed her cooking series a few years ago. I think I’ll see if they are now on Netflix. I would love to watch them again now that I have become more serious in the kitchen. Oh, and that Boeuf Bourgignon…my all time favorite dish.

  • Reply
    annie
    March 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Sue,
    What a fantastic dish to represent our favorite Game Changer…Ina! I’ve been wondering for weeks which recipe you would choose. Your photos are amazing…I know I always say that…but they are! A bowl of chopped carrots or a mug of fresh thyme never looked more beautiful!
    xo
    annie

  • Reply
    Mary
    March 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Sue, your photos of her stew are really wonderful. This truly is a remarkable recipe and I know it is one that all who try it will enjoy. She is a fantastic cook. So are you. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • Reply
    Miranda
    March 16, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Mmmm, I have yet to make a beef bourguignon – maybe I’ll do it for #50. This looks perfect.

  • Reply
    Soya Products
    March 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Nice post. You had explained about the recipe in very nice manner. Thanks for sharing this dish.

  • Reply
    Ashley
    March 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    This looks so yummy!!!

  • Reply
    Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits
    March 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Your stew looks perfect! This sauce looks sooo good. It’s doesn;t have much flour, like so many stews do; and the veggies look appetizing. Yum!

  • Reply
    Mary
    March 16, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Can I confess that I’ve never actually watched a cooking show? How is it possible that I have complete faith in Ina’s recipes, having only tried a handful, and the others are not nearly as reliable? Every Ina recipe I’ve seen looks completely doable. You’ve made her sound so approachable too! Now I’m going to have to see if I can find an episode to watch soon. I need a personality to match to the person I’ve read.

    Have a perfectly lovely weekend, Sue!!

  • Reply
    Alyce
    March 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm

    Wish you’d do a post on how you do your photographs; they’re sooohhh cool. I’ve never made Ina’s Beef Burgundy and if I’m gonna do it this year, I’d better do it soon. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

  • Reply
    Kathy
    March 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Beautiful dish to represent Ina! It looks absolutely scrumptious! Nicely done!

  • Reply
    bellini
    March 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    This is such a classic which speaks to Ina’s style.

  • Reply
    Inside a British Mum's Kitchen
    March 16, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I couldn’t agree more – Ina is kind of perfect!! Your Beef Bourguignon looks fantastic – perfect for a miserable day like today!!
    Mary x

  • Reply
    Heather @girlichef.com
    March 16, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Dish me up a big bowl of that – it looks delicious!

  • Reply
    From the Kitchen
    March 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Your words describing Ina are mine as well. She simply embodies the best of all mentioned!! I’ve done beef bourguignon for many years and many ways. From the provencial French to James Beard to Ina. We like Ina’s best!! I still have the photos in my “blog file”–wanting to post but not liking the photos. Your’s are delicious looking.

    Best,
    Bonnie

  • Reply
    Jeanette
    March 16, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Great choice to highlight Ina Garten’s love for French food!

  • Reply
    Barbara
    March 16, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Fabulous, Sue! I’ve made this and it’s a winner. We all love Ina!!

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