History Of Boeuf (Beef) Bourguignon & Origins


Traditional Boeuf Bourguignon Dish

Beef Bourguignon (Boeuf Bourguignon in French) is a world-wide favorite dish. Traditionally, the dish takes two days to prepare. The longer the dish is cooked, the more powerful the flavor and the more tender the meat would become.

The Boeuf Bourguignon originates from the Burgundy region of Eastern France. The region is renowned for its architecture, its excellent wines, and its prized Charolais cattle. In 1903, chef Auguste Escoffier first mentioned the Beef Bourguignon in cookbooks. 

Later on, it was refined into the form it’s generally renowned as today. The dish is usually associated with Julia Child because of her recipe in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Let us look into the detailed history of the Beef Bourguignon.

Revolution of Boeuf Bourguignon 

The well-known dish Boeuf Bourguignon has its roots from the Burgundy region in France. Burgundy which is known as “Bourgogne” in French, is 100 km southeast of Paris, stretching 360 km. It has more than 2000 communes, and is one of France’s most fascinating regions. 

Classic Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf bourguignon began as a peasant food which dates back to the Middle Ages (400-1400 A.D.). Slow cooking was popular in rural areas at those times because it was cheap, and could feed many. Over the time, the dish has evolved from peasant food to a typical Parisian bistro dish which is now a byword for French cuisine. 

Thanks to a great French chef Auguste Escoffier, Boeuf Bourguignon is famous throughout the world. He was the first to publish the recipe in the early 20th century. Escoffier’s 1903 recipe became the standard-bearer. 

The French beef stew was brought to the dining tables of high society city folk by Auguste Escoffier. His original method used a whole piece of beef in the stew. Later on, Julia Child used the beef cubes rather than using a whole piece which brought Boeuf Bourguignon into notice of the cooks of the new generation. 

In her book, Julia included her take on Boeuf bourguignon classic recipe which incorporated lardons as well as instructions on drying off the beef with paper towels before searing it in the pan. She also added a number of other techniques that made her recipe extremely popular.

Boeuf Bourguignon Dish

Boeuf bourguignon can be made one day ahead. Cool, uncovered, then chill, covered (it tastes even better made ahead because it gives flavors the time to develop). If made ahead, fats can be removed from the surface after it has been chilled. 

The beef stew is prepared by braising the beef in a full-bodied, classic red (Burgundy) wine. After that, it is then stewed with potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic. Then it is well-seasoned (during the stewing process) with a bouquet garni, or a small satchel of thyme, parsley, and bay leaves.   

Traditional preparation of this dish is two days which makes the flavour more powerful and the meat becomes more tender. Today, Beef bourguignon continues to be one of the favorite foods among the foodies of all over the world. Many famous chefs like Anthony Bourdain, Richard Olney and Michel Roux have shared their customized beef bourguignon recipe.

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