Julia Child’s Iconic Boeuf Bourguignon! My “52 In 22” Cooking Challenge Is A Family Affair!

The Legendary Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe By Julia Child!

Julia Child is a culinary Icon of course, and her love of all food, especially french, is inspiring to Chefs of all ages.

I have made this dish once before, but as we are in week #51 of my “52 In 22” cooking challenge, I wanted to make it again – this time with expert help in the kitchen – and behind the camera!

The classic recipe from Julia Child is included in her very first cookbook – which was a worldwide sensation when released in the 60’s.

Here is how her Boeuf Bourguignon recipe is described in Julia’s Cookbook:

As is the case with most famous dishes, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good boeuf bourguignon. Carefully done, and perfectly flavored, it is certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, and can well be the main course for a buffet dinner. Fortunately, you can prepare it completely ahead, even a day in advance, and it only gains in flavor when reheated.

With that inspiration, it was time to cook with Julia – and my daughter Jessica and her sister-in-law and partner-in-crime Eleanor as well!

What a fun night! Jessica’s Sister-In-Law Eleanor was excited to help me cook – and Jessica was going to capture it all on video and behind-the-scenes photos – and a glass or two of Champagne!

The first thing we did ws prep all of our food – the “mise en place” – the chopping and dicing and dicing and chopping and chopping and dicing some more…

Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe!

3 pounds lean stewing beef

1 sliced carrot

I sliced onion

2 tbl. flour

salt and pepper of course

3 cups full bodied red wine

2-3 cups beef stock

1 tbl tomato paste

2 cloves garlic

1/2 tsp thyme


6 oz. of bacon

18-24 small white pearl onions

1 lb. mushrooms

4 tbl. butter

parsley to decorate

Time for me, Jessica and Eleanor to get in the kitchen!

Let’s Get Started – With Bacon!

Julia’s recipe begins, as all recipes should, with bacon!

Cut the bacon into lardoons (sticks, ¼-inch thick and 1 1/2-inches long).

Saute in the olive oil bacon for 10 minutes in a 9- to 10-inch fireproof casserole 3 inches deep.

Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.

I did just that and Eleanor was ready to take over the next step!

She cut the 3 pounds lean stewing beef cut into 2-inch cubes, and used the same bacon fat and oil that was in the pot to cook the beef!

You do the same thing with the beef – take it out with a slotted spoon and set it aside…you know, next to the strategically placed cookbook and glass of champagne!

Cue The Carrots And Onion!

Next up, the vegetables that bring their unique flavor profile to the dish: onions and carrots!

Eleanor diced them all up and slid them into the pan – still using the terrific bacon fat and oil that we started with!

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Then sprinkle on the flour.

Oven should be on, set to 325 degrees. Sprinkle the flour over this, mix it in, and put in the oven for ten minutes to help get a crust on the meat…take it out and get ready for a glass of wine!

Time now to bring the flavors together: first, pour 3 cups of a full-bodied young red wine into the casserole pan you’ve been cooking in:

This will help the beef braise in the oven – -oh and since you didn’t use all of the wine, enjoy that last glass worth of wine in the bottle!

Stir in the wine and enough stock so the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon. Bring to simmer on top of the stove.

Then cover the casserole and set in lower third of pre-heated oven. Regulate heat so liquid simmers very slowly for 2 ½ to 3 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

Eleanor puts it in the oven and it’s time to re-fill our wine and get to the next part of the recipe, beginning with the pearl onions, which Eleanor boiled them in water for just a couple of minutes and let them cool – and here’s how easy they are to skin!

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet and add the onions to the skillet. Sauté over medium heat for about ten minutes, rolling the onions about so they brown as evenly as possible, without breaking apart. Pour in the stock, season to taste, add the herbs, and cover. Simmer over low heat for about 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape and the liquid has mostly evaporated, then set aside.

For the mushrooms, heat the butter and oil over high heat in a large skillet – add the mushrooms and toss and shake the pan for about five minutes. As soon as they have browned lightly, remove from heat. Set the mushrooms aside until needed.

When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan. Jessica captured me doing just that:

Return the beef and bacon to the casserole dish. Next, slide the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat as well.

Skim the fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two, skimming off additional fat as it rises. Eleanor works on the sauce while I get the buttered noodles going next to her.

You should have about 2 ½ cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons of stock or canned bouillon. Taste carefully for seasoning. Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables. (Recipe may be completed in advance to this point.)

As the dish sits on the stove blending its flavors, I finish up the noodles – after draining I added some butter and coated them nicely.

Finally, it was time to plate the dish – and Jessica filmed it for us!

We added some parsley to the top and here is our finished dish!

The beef was so flavorful – and so tender as well! I love the combination of flavors, and of course, who doesn’t love those buttered noodles, especially with the gravy on them?

Special thanks to Eleanor for cooking alongside me, and for Jessica, who captured all of the great photos and video of us in action! What a blast this was!

This is week #51 in my year long “52 In 22” cooking challenge, and there is only one recipe left – but what a recipe it is!

Behold A “Pasta Pie!”

Yes, I am going to attempt the “Timpano” recipe from Stanley Tucci’s great film “Big Night!”

This Timpano recipe is featured in Tucci’s wonderful memoir “Taste”:

For those who have followed any or all of my year-long cooking challenge, you may know that I have cooked from the Actor and Chef before:

I mad this Mother’s family recipe for Chicken Cacciatore, and you can make it as well…click here for the recipe:

For those following along, you know that Stanley Tucci had a huge impact on my “52 In 22” cooking challenge – earlier this year I made a traditional Italian gravy:

You see, when I made this Italian Gravy recipe from The Sopranos Cookbook, I learned something from Stanley Tucci as well – click here to see the recipe and what the terrific Actor taught me!

As I said, I will be ending this year-long cooking challenge by celebrating Tucci and a “love letter” film he made about food:

Tucci and Tony Shaloub make a “Timpano” for their “Big Night” in a desperate bid to save their family restaurant…come back next week to see how I did making this for a big New Year’s celebration!

Here’s a look at this terrific movie:

I stared this yearlong challenge on January 4th, when I cooked from a cookbook by the legendary Horror Actor Vincent Price!

He and wife Mary were world travelers and their compilation of great recipes led me to make a classic “La Belle Sole” dish – you can see the recipe by clicking here:

Back to Stanley Tucci: you may know that I became obsessed with a dish he cooked on his CNN travel series.

How obsessed?


I made “Spaghetti alla Nerano” with some added “Zoodles” as well – click here for this amazingly delicious recipe!

If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe and never miss out? It’s easy, and there are NO ads of any kind, just stuff I like – from music to movies, books, travel, food and more…click on the main page and “follow” me on the upper right…


As for my “52 Cookbooks 52 Recipes” challenge, I am sharing and storing all of these recipes on my food website as well:

“Bite! Eat! Repeat!” is your site for all things food – from these step-by-step cooking directions for 52 dishes from around the world – to fun stuff like Caviar Tater Tots!

Here’s just one of the many fun stores you can find there:

If you like what you see, please click on my link and follow this blog as well!


Thank you for following along on my culinary journey. If you like the story, share it with friends on social media! Thanks!

Categories: Art, cookbooks, Food, food blog, Food Review, Memoirs, Pop Culture, Recipes, Talent/Celebrities, Wacky Food, wine

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6 replies

  1. Wow! It looks amazing. How great to cook with family too.


  2. John, what fun to make Julia Child’s recipe with your daughter, Jessica, and Eleanor. Wow! This was a step-by-step that even I might be able to do. At the end, you buttered the noodles. Do you think butter is better than olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking together?


  3. The first home-cooked meal I made for my hubby was boeuf bourguignon and I have made it many many times since it is a beautiful tasty dish and this one looks very delicious especially on a cold winters day 🙂


  4. ooh, this looks so yummy and I can almost smell the sauce….

    best of luck on your own ‘big night’! can’t wait to read about it –


  5. I have never had noodles with beef bourginon, John. But now I want some! The beef looks amazingly tender, and I am betting that meal was really delicious!
    Best wishes, Pete.



  1. Julia Child’s Iconic Boeuf Bourguignon! My “52 In 22” Cooking Challenge Is A Family Affair! — johnrieber – Bite! Eat! Repeat!

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