Beef Bourguignon {In under 30 minutes}

This classic French comfort food dish, popularized in America by Julia Child, originally comes from the Burgundy region of France. At the French Culinary Institute, we made our Boef Bourguignon by marinating our beef overnight in huge pots of wine and aromatics; the next day laboriously tending to the dish and its numerous components, even making fresh pappardelle pasta to accompany it.  

I’ve never attempted that grandiose French Culinary Institute recipe at home, but instead make this pared down, simplified version that still brings the same rich flavors and comforting tenderness to the table, all in about 30 minutes. Make this for friends, and everyone will go home happy, or make it for yourself and enjoy it all week, the flavors just get better over time. Don’t let the recipe intimidate you, just read through it and have all the components prepped, and it will come together in a flash.


  • 1 pound baking potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 1 pound beef tenderloin, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 teaspoons butter
  • 1 bacon slice, finely chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) package button mushrooms, quartered
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup earthy red wine
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons 2% reduced-fat milk
  • Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)


  1. Place your potato in a saucepan over high heat; cover with cool water. Bring to a boil; cook 10 minutes or until very tender. Drain. Return potato to pan; keep warm.
  2. While your potato cooks, place the pearl onions in a microwave-safe bowl and cover them with a damp paper towel. Microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Finely chop 1 (2-inch) cube of tenderloin, and set aside (this will enrich the sauce later). Pat the remaining beef cubes dry with a paper towel, and sprinkle them evenly with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the pan; swirling to coat. Add the seasoned beef cubes; sauté 3 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Remove beef from pan and set aside on paper towels. Add the finely chopped beef and bacon to the pan; sauté 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, and sauté 5 minutes or until mushrooms brown, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the garlic, chopped thyme, and sugar, and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the tomato paste, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the wine, and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the browned bits. Cook for 2 minutes or until the liquid reduces by half.
  5. Add the pearl onions and the beef broth, and bring everything to a boil. Cook everything for 1 minute. Combine 2 tablespoons water and flour in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the pan, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly (this will thicken the sauce). Return the browned beef cubes to pan; cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cooked to medium-rare or longer for your desired degree of doneness.
  6. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons butter and the milk to the potatoes in the saucepan, and mash with a potato masher until desired consistency. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve a big ladle of the beef and the sauce over the potatoes, and garnish with some thyme sprigs, if desired.

*Alternatively, you can serve this over buttered pappardelle pasta instead of the mashed potatoes.

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