Julia Child immortalized boeuf bourguignon in featuring it on her first French cooking show. At the start of the episode, she says in her distinct high-pitched trill, “it’s a wonderful show to begin our series on because it shows you so many useful things about French cooking.” Indeed by watching the 30-minute segment, a must-see on YouTube, you’ll learn how to brown meat, braise onions, sauté mushrooms, and make a wine sauce. However, it’s also clear this is a recipe that requires time and patience. “People don’t make it right because it takes too much time” is a phrase I heard often during visits to Burgundy, the birthplace of the beloved French dish. Luckily there are some places that are getting it right.
Boeuf bourguignon includes Burgundy’s two most famous exports: pinot noir and Charolais beef, the region’s famed white cattle. At the restaurant Caves Madeleine in Beaune, the French chef cuts no corners in crafting an absolutely sublime boeuf bourguignon, letting it simmer for five to seven hours. He only uses Charolais beef cheeks and the stew includes mushrooms, bacon, and chives. The plum-colored sauce is extremely concentrated and the meat is melt-in-your mouth tender. Accompanied by a side of creamy mashed potatoes, it’s the ultimate in elegant comfort food. Beware, Caves Madeleine changes its menu nightly. But if boeuf bourguignon is scrawled on the blackboard, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Tucked in an ally off the main square in Beaune, Ma Cuisine is a restaurant beloved by locals for its vast wine list and friendly service. The restaurant specializes in simple rustic fare using quality ingredients, like roast pigeon and Iberico pork. Their boeuf bourguignon with lardons, mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes is rich and satisfying. Pair with a smooth-as-silk Gevrey-Chambertin and finish your meal with one of the restaurant’s house made-desserts like tarte tatin or Paris brest.
For a more avant-garde take on boeuf bourguignon, head to Auprès du Clocher in Pommard, a contemporary restaurant with large glass windows overlooking the town’s historic square. On the menu de région you’ll find a dish of beef cheeks cooked in red burgundy for five hours and served under a cylinder of whipped parsnips. A sprinkling of walnuts gives a great crunchy texture and Chanterelle mushrooms add depth and earthiness.
In Paris, beloved French bistro Joséphine “Chez Dumonet” serves a delicious and decadent boeuf bourguignon. Served in a full or half size, the stew comes bubbling in a heavy white pot. Ladle it over the side of buttered noodles and take in the quintessentially French ambience. The bistro serves other French hits, like duck confit, sole, pigeon, and a sky-high Grand Marnier soufflé.
And Israeli street food restaurant Miznon in the Marais serves an addictive variation on the dish: a boeuf bourguignon pita. The stew bakes for most of the day in a tomato and wine sauce and is served on a fluffy pancake-like pita bread. Loaded with carrots and finished with a slick of mustard and sprinkling of dill, it hits all the right flavor notes: sweet, savory, and spicy. This is one of the best quick eats in the city!
Caves Madeleine – 8 rue du Faubourg Madeleine, 21200 Beaune. Tel: +33 (0)3 80 22 93 30. Open 12-1:30pm and 7:00-9:30. Closed Wednesday and Sunday.
Ma Cuisine – Passage Saint-Hélène, 21200 Beaune. Tel: +33 (0)3 80 22 30 22. Open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 12:15-1:30 and 7:00-9:15.
Auprès du Clocher – 1 rue de Nackenheim, 21630 Pommard. Tel: +33 (0)3 80 22 21 79. Open Thursday- Monday 12:00 -1:30 and 7:00-9:00.
Joséphine “Chez Dumonet” – 117 rue Cherche-Midi, 75006 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 48 52 40. Open Monday-Friday 12:30-2:30 and 7:30-10:30. Métro: Duroc (lines 10 and 13) or Falguière (line 12).
Miznon – 22 rue des Ecouffes, 75004 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 74 83 58. Open Sunday-Thursday 11:00-11:00; Friday 11:00-5:00. Métro: Saint Paul (line 1).
- Where to find and eat the best roast chicken in France? Casey gives us the scoop.
- Casey also shares advice on amazing and affordable wines from Burgundy. Consider picking up a bottle to make your own sublime boeuf bourguignon!
- We love Julia Child’s first episode featuring the classic French beef stew.
Written by Casey Hatfield-Chiotti for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.