A lot of times we think of cooking as a chore. It seems hard, and sometimes it is. This means that oftentimes, when we talk about cooking without stress, we're talking about doing it quickly and getting it on the table with minimal effort. But, as those of us who find cooking ultimately relaxing will tell you, a lot of joy can be found in a slow simmer, a gentle braise or a piece of meat cooked low and slow. So today, we want to invite you to slow down with Beef Bourguignon.
The Beef Bourguignon recipe is a fussy one -- well, as fussy as beef stew can be. And although this dish has a fancy French name and a storied history as one of earth's greatest dishes, don't let it's ritzy suit fool you: this is a beef stew, just a really, really tasty one. This dish, as Julia Child will tell you in the video below, is not only great as an exercise in slow, thoughtful cooking, but also in cooking basics -- you brown meat, you learn to braise, you peel pearl onions. These skills are actually fun to learn because once you have them, you can apply them to cooking other dishes. Once that starts happening, you'll realize that you're stressing less, cooking more and eating way, way better.
One of our favorite food bloggers, Elise Bauer of Simply Recipes has a great, step-by-step Beef Bourguignon recipe that we think you should use. Elise has some very important advice for you regarding the whole bottle of wine you pour into this stew: "Use a Pinot Noir. It is the dominant wine used in Burgundy, France, and it is what gives this dish its name. Obviously you can use a real French Burgundy wine, but they tend to be far more expensive than a California Pinot Noir. Look for a bottle you’d happily drink."
Devote a Saturday or Sunday to giving this dish a try (it's winter, we know you're hanging out inside anyway). As you follow Elise's excellent recipe, maybe sip a glass of wine and definitely watch Julia make Beef Bourguignon below. She always sets us at ease when we cook something for the first time by being charming, smart and willing to mess up a few times before she gets things perfect.
Time you'll spend preparing this recipe, including prep and cook time: 2 1/2 - 3 hours.