NOT Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon

By March 21, 2012

Submitted by Kellie F.

This is a simple route to a wonderful rich dish, but much healthier with a fraction of the time and energy use. I love Julia Child, but I also love making recipes that taste complex in the middle of the week. Now I can!

The recipe is based on a complicated dish, but is simplified to a weekday dinner because of the use of the pressure cooker. Normally a Beef Bourguinon takes all day and is comprised of about 50 steps. It’s so intimidating that most people will never try to make it. I’m a HUGE pressure cooker fan and have converted many of my friends. The idea of making a rich stock in 45 minutes or an all day beef stew in a 1/2 hour and still get tender juicy chunks of meat seems almost magical to me.

beef bourguinonIngredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean boneless beef chuck roast cut into chunks
  • 5 medium carrots cut into chunks
  • 8 oz mushrooms quarters
  • 12 pearl onions peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 TBS fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2/3 cup beef stock
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Dry beef and saute in portions to give them room in the pressure cooker to brown until all done and set aside.
  • Brown pearl onions
  • Add back ALL ingredients (except flour and water) and set cooker on high for 12 with natural release Once complete mix water and flour in a cup and pour in. Let cook until thickened plus one minute.
  • Serve!
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6 Responses to “NOT Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon”

  1. Joe says:

    Just made this and substituted caribou. Alaska variation. Fantastic!


  2. Kat says:

    As a substitute for the wheat flour – to make a gluten-free version – try using 2 Tbsp of arrowroot flour instead. That should get your stock to thicken nicely.
    One nice thing about the arrowroot, it doesn’t have to boil, so you can let the cooking complete, go through the cool down till you can open it, take out some of the liquid – about 1/4 cup – and mix the arrowroot with that into a slurry then simply stir it back in. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes and viola! Julia would be proud!


  3. Tiffany says:

    *Very* easy and delicious! I have made the full-blown Julia Childs recipe many times, and this is every bit as good. If Julie, in the movie, had only known about pressure cookers, she could have spent the night sleeping!


  4. Jessica says:

    I JUST made this for dinner. If you search for “pressure cooker beef bourguignon” this same recipe is found on some major food recipe websites. After reading comments saying it was a little bland and needed more of a flavor profile I modified via some recommendations and the flavor ended up so rich and wonderful. I didn’t have fresh thyme so added 1 teaspoon of dried thyme, 1 teaspoon of dried parsley, increased to 1 cup red wine. From Julia Child’s actual recipe, I took 3 large strips of bacon chopped and sauteed that until crispy and set aside. Then I browned my meat in the bacon oil. Sauteed onion in some olive oil, ended up sauting the mushrooms and carrot for 2 minutes why not. Added all ingredient to the instant pot with the bacon bits (you could probably add this after it cooks). After 12 minutes the beef wasn’t tender to me so I don’t know what happened. I just closed the lid again and added another 10 minutes and TADA Beef super tender and everything delicious. Added the flour and water combo to the pot, hit saute and thickened the broth. It was delicious!!


  5. Teresa Graham says:

    This recipe is excellent and I have made it several times.


  6. Aaron says:

    This was fantastic! Really easy to make and excellent flavor. Ill be trying this again soon!


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