Beet Bourguignon

If you google the french dish Bœf B-o-u-r-g-u-i-g-n-o-n (phew) you will see Julia Child’s classic recipe everywhere. Talk about making an impression and leaving a footprint. We were looking it up since we have been experiencing a couple cold winter weeks here in Sweden and couldn’t imagine a dish more suitable for this climate than a warm and hearty stew. The Beef Bourguignon is made on beef and bacon, so not the most appropriate dish for vegetarians. But we reckoned that there must be a way to transform that rich, wine oozing hot pot into something more in our taste. After a few experiments it turns out that we were only one letter away. We turned beef into beet. We also added large chunks of mushrooms to give the stew the right texture and flavor.

We’re not sure what Julia Child would say if she tried our version of it. Probably “Oh dear no”. But except for replacing the meat we have actually had her recipe as our inspiration when creating this. We did however feel the need to increase the amount of vegetables (how can her recipe only call for one carrot in a whole stew?).

And how does it taste? Simply fantastic, if we may say so. It has got those deep and rich thyme and wine flavors, different sort of textures and a hint of sweetness. Indulgent winter food at its best.

We have seen many recipes combining this type of dish with pasta noodles. We prefer Puy lentils so that is what we paired it with. A potato mash would also work really good. Or perhaps both?

Beet Bourguignon
Serves at least 4 persons 

This is one of those dishes that works well making a day in a advance. The flavors will become more intense and the vegetables more tender.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 small beets, peeled & quartered (we used Chioggia beets)
4 medium sized carrots, sliced in large pieces
2 sprigs thyme
sea salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 cup red wine 

2 cups vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
2 tsp arrowroot powder, solved in 2 tbsp water (optional)

2 cups puy lentils, for serving
4 cups water
a pinch of sea salt

2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 portobello mushrooms
10 champignon mushroom
10 small pearl onions, peeled

Cooking the stew: Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven or a large cast iron pot over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic, sauté until soft. Toss beets, carrots, thyme and salt and pepper into the pan, cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste, red vine, vegetable stock and bay leaves, let simmer on low heat for 40 minutes. Meanwhile prepare the lentils, mushrooms and pearl onions.

Preparing the Puy lentils: Rinse lentils under running water. Bring water to a boil, add lentils and lower to medium heat. Let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, when almost done add salt. Set aside.

Searing the mushrooms and pearl onion: Heat olive oil in a pan. Lower the heat and sear the portobello, champignon mushrooms and pearl onions, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden in color. Season to taste. Set aside.

Finishing the stew: Taste the stew, add more wine, stock or herbs if you like. If you prefer the stew a little thicker, add arrowroot mixture, but this is optional. Add mushrooms and onions and simmer for 10 more minutes. To serve, spoon the stew over a plate of lentils and sprinkle with fresh thyme.

136 Comments

  • Didi
    This is a fantastic recipe, I'll make this for my birthday dinner this weekend! Looking forward to it!
  • Candie
    This looks so yummy! As Julia would say: "Bon Appetit"!
  • Clever! Would love to try this.
  • I cannot wait to try this! Replacing the beef with beets is genius. I made mushroom bourguignon for Christmas dinner and it was a huge hit. I adore beets and imagine this is so good! Thanks for sharing.
  • Susan Denaro
    This was one of the best recipes I have found on the internet. Served it with a side of sour cream mashed potatoes and it was superb. Smartest thing I did was make a double batch as I knew this was going to be a winner.
  • You have just butchered all my well-intentioned cooking plans for the weekend. I have ALL these ingredients but originally slated for other dishes... gah... My life has turned upside down! This looks so freaking fabulous. :)
  • I made your beet bourguignon this weekend, and it is absolutely marvelous! Every bite is decadent: pearl onions, mushrooms, beets and carrots each manage to keep their own distinct flavor, and they compliment each other so well! Thank you for posting this recipe. I will certainly be making it again.
  • Julie
    Great dish! The red wine and beet juices made for the most beautiful ruby gravy. Wonderful earthy flavors.
  • Chauna
    I made this last night and it was awesome! I halved the recipe and almost ate the entire pot. I added some baby turnips from my farm box and they were a nice addition with their creamy texture. Served with gluten free gnocchi. Also recommend thickening the sauce. Did not have arrowroot on hand and used tapioca starch. Thanks for an awesome recipe, this went into my personal cookbook to be added to the kitchen meal rotation. Yum!
  • Kat
    I cannot wait to try this. I am so excited!
  • Blake
    Made this and it was fabulous! Would recommend thickening the sauce otherwise it goes right through the lentils and you are left with a very watery puddle that is hard to enjoy, and believe me the juice is wonderful tasting!
  • [...] David and Luise from Green Kitchen Stories made a beet bourguignon [...]
  • Emma
    I added some dried (?), soaked chantarells i the stew and serverd it with celery root and goatcheese mash. Soooo yummie!
  • I just made this tonight—it was a success and I will make it again. I skipped the lentils and cooked barley in the stew, which also thickened it. The matching color of the wine and beets makes this a beautiful dish.
  • i just finished reading julia's "my life in france" the other day, and promptly watched some of her "the french chef" videos online... including boueff bourguignon. the very next day, you all posted this lovely recipe, so of course i HAD to try it asap! delicious! i used all red beets, giving it an extremely distinctive color, but otherwise followed the recipe to a T! i think julia would love the creative spirit behind this, even if it isn't traditional la cuisine francais.
  • [...] Beet Bourguignon via Green Kitchen Stories: A veggie version of Julia Child’s famous Boeuf Bourguignon? Sign me up! Share this:MoreLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]
  • [...] Beet (not beef) Bourguignon – Green Kitchen Stories Share this:Share [...]
  • Ok, this looks delightful! Thank you soo much for putting this recipe on your site. I like to try new things and a beets recipe sounds interesting. This is one I would not have ever thought of to do. So, I will try it out on my family who will be coming over to visit this weekend. Thanks again, Grandma Kat XOXOXOXOXO
  • [...] 10. Beet Bourguignon – Green Kitchen Stories [...]
  • So original! & gorgeous. Am definitely putting my hand to this beauty soon.
  • My mother used to do it. I'm trying not to eat much of meat lately, but will make an exception for this baby. Looks delicious.
  • Ketmala
    "C'est magnifique!" I've always cooked Boeuf Bourguignon for my husband, mother-in-law or my family in France, but I never got to eat it since I am vegetarian. Your version looks amazing & delicious. I have a monthly Ladies Night gathering this Thursday, so I'll be making your special Beet Bourguignon to share with all, I'll let you know how it turns out. Thank you much. PS: Love that it is a gluten free recipe too. :-)
  • Helene
    Made this dish this evening and LOVED it! What a great way to cook beets. When frying the mushrooms I added a TINY bit of smoked spanish paprika - it added the smoked flavour that bacon normally adds to this dish. And I served it with mashed potatoes AND lentils - just perfect:) Thank you for a new favorite winter-dish!
  • Can't wait to try this. A good way to thicken the stew is also with pureed carrots. I am personally averse to arrowroot powder and this works well, making me feel extra healthy too!
  • what a wonderful way to eat a hearty meal sans the meat. Will definitely try. I don't really like beets, but by the looks of this dish, it might be an excellent way to enjoy that vegetable.
  • The other day I was thinking of trying something new with beets and here comes your beautiful recipe. I think Julia would be proud :-)
  • talia
    looks loverly :) I've never tried the beef version, but this one seems much more intriguing. The only catch is, my husband and I can't have mushrooms (lame, I know). Any substitute suggestions?
  • Such a smart idea, and so beautiful too. I love beets and my husband loves boeuf bourguignon (his mom is a huge Julia fan), so this is perfect!

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