Speedy Weeknight Beef Bourguignon

Recipe by Katelin Crane, psychiatric provider, professor and friend of the Co-op

I love a hearty stew as the temperatures drop and classic French cooking, and beef bourguignon represents the best of both worlds. The traditional version is simmered in the oven for three to four hours, but I don’t have time for that on a weeknight. So I cheat!


Some of the steps, such as bringing the meat to room temp and salting it before searing, is integral to the flavor of the dish. Even so, you can have this hearty, delicious meal on the table in under an hour. I recommend serving this over mashed potatoes or buttered noodles for a full meal. 



  • 2 lbs. top sirloin, cut into one-inch cubes
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into lardons
  • 3 Tbs. butter
  • 3 medium-sized carrots, peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 ½ cups pearl onions
  • 2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1 ½ cups full-bodied red wine, such as a cabernet sauvignon
  • 4 cups beef stock
  • 6 oz. can tomato paste
  • 4 cloves garlic (recommended, but I always measure garlic with my heart)
  • 1 Tbs. thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


 A half-hour before starting dinner set out the beef and bring it to room temp. Pat dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Set aside one chunk and finely dice (this will be used to help flavor the vegetables while they cook).


Cut slices of bacon into lardons (small batons, around ¼ inch thick and 1 ½ inch long). In a heavy Dutch oven, over medium heat, melt butter and sauté lardons until browned. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate with a slotted spoon to drain. Leave the fat in the pan.


Add beef, a few chunks at a time, and brown on all sides. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan; otherwise, your meat will boil instead of brown. Remove and set aside with the bacon.