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.


  • Anej
    Hey! We've finally tried your recipe today, after several years in my mind ("I NEED to try beetroot and red wine"), and it's a WONDERFUL way to eat beetroots. It really reminds of beef bourguignon, with a little extra interesting and deep beetroot taste... Really amazing. I'll never use something else than beetrots in my bourguignon, it would feel like such a shame... Really, thank you very much!
  • Misha
    Wow, what a treat! I have just made it and even my meat eater loved it! Said it was very filling! The Puy lentils are a wonderful idea, thank you what a fab recipe!
  • Jeppe
    Making one day before :) Looks absolutely amazing :) Now I am not very used to cooking vegetarian and using lentils. Could somebody offer an advice as said in the beginning this is good to be made a day in advance which I am planning, but then would you cook the stew, mushrooms and lentils the first day and mix it all together as in the last step or is there any changes to the recipe then. Maybe first cooking the lentils or mushrooms just before it is used ? Hope to hear somebody’s opinion:) And thank you for this great recipe. Jeppe
  • […] These miniature onions taste like milder, sweeter versions of regular onions. They can be a pain to peel, so look for frozen pearl onions. Show off their cuteness and use pearl onions in dishes where they’re left whole, like this vegan beet bourguignon. […]
  • Mirka
    I used to cook all our family meals when I lived with my family in Quebec. During Chrismtas, I had to cook for everyone! I made a classic bourguignon, but not to leave me ad my vegetarian sister out, I made for us this beautiful veggie version. It was delicious. Thank you! :)
    • Nimue
      Hi guys Have you ever tried cooking this in a slowcooker? Or any thoughts on how i could go about that? ~love and have all your books, and been giving them out as bday presents to wanting-to-be-veggie friends; always a hit!
  • […] of your recipes would win over a committed carnivore? Beet bourguignon from our first book,  or the aubergine rolls from Green Kitchen Travels. Both are properly […]
  • Lina
    Helt underbar!
  • Ian Hamilton
    Rather than serve with mash, I topped it with mash and put it in the oven, to make shepherds pie. Fantastic.
  • […] Beet Bourguignon by Green Kitchen Stories […]
  • […] vegan chronicle of beef bourguignon by Green Kitchen Stories is filled with copiousness of juicy base vegetables, creation it a robust winter […]

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