Wine-Free Beef Bourguignon

There are moments in our culinary journey where we might want to avoid certain ingredients due to dietary restrictions, personal preferences, or simply not having them on hand. But that shouldn’t mean compromising on taste or missing out on classic recipes. Inspired by my neighbor, Jane, who wanted a non-alcoholic version of the classic Beef Bourguignon, I’ve crafted this wine-free adaptation that still packs all the flavors and warmth of the traditional dish.

During one of our weekend potlucks, I served this version, and to my surprise, even those who loved the wine-infused original couldn’t tell the difference! The secret? A blend of rich broth and tangy tomatoes. Let’s dive in!

How to Prepare Wine-Free Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients for Wine-Free Beef Bourguignon

  • 3 cups of beef broth
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (for a touch of acidity)
  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 2 crisp carrots, diced
  • 2 tablespoons of quality brandy (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 fresh parsley sprig
  • 1 aromatic bay leaf
  • 2 pounds of beef chuck, cut into cubes
  • 4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound of diced bacon
  • 3 tablespoons of fine all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of rich tomato concentrate
  • 1 can (10 1/2 ounce) of beef stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, as desired
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 pound of fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced

Directions for Wine-Free Beef Bourguignon

  1. In a spacious bowl, blend beef broth, apple cider vinegar, onions, carrots, (optional) brandy, garlic, peppercorns, salt, parsley, and bay leaf. Introduce beef to the mixture, ensuring an even coat. Seal and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  2. Warm your oven to 300°F (150°C).
  3. Separate the beef from the mixture, patting off any excess moisture with towels. Retain the vegetables and reserve the broth mix.
  4. Using a skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high. Sear beef in segments and shift to a bowl. In the skillet, brown the bacon till golden, then transfer to the beef bowl.
  5. Clear out the skillet and reintroduce 2 tablespoons of oil. Sauté the onions until soft and add the saved vegetables. Use a slotted spoon to move them to the beef bowl.
  6. Brown the flour in the skillet’s residues. Blend in garlic and tomato paste. Add an additional can of beef stock, the saved broth mix, salt, and pepper. When boiling, pour over the beef ensemble in the bowl. Move this mixture into a baking dish.
  7. Bake until beef becomes tender, stirring occasionally for about 3 hours. If the mixture becomes too thick, a bit of water can be added.
  8. A few minutes before serving, melt butter in a pan over high heat. Sauté mushrooms until golden and fold into the beef mixture.

Does this version taste much different from the original?

Not at all! The beef broth and apple cider vinegar provide depth and a touch of acidity, mimicking the wine’s role in the original recipe. The essence of Beef Bourguignon is maintained beautifully.

Can I reintroduce wine if I want to in the future?

Absolutely! This recipe is adaptable. If you ever decide to add wine, you can replace the beef broth and apple cider vinegar with your preferred Burgundy wine.

Is the marination time the same as the wine version?

For this wine-free version, marinating for 24 hours suffices. The key is to allow the beef to soak up the flavors from the broth and other ingredients.

Will brandy add an alcoholic flavor to the dish?

The brandy is optional and is used to add depth to the flavor. The alcohol from the brandy burns off during cooking, leaving behind only its essence.

Can I use chicken broth instead of beef broth?

While beef broth is recommended to maintain the rich flavor, chicken broth can be used as a milder alternative. However, it might slightly alter the taste profile of the dish.

Beef Bourguignon

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Servings 8
...

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups of beef broth
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar for a touch of acidity
  • 2 onions finely sliced
  • 2 crisp carrots diced
  • 2 tablespoons of quality brandy optional
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 10 whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 fresh parsley sprig
  • 1 aromatic bay leaf
  • 2 pounds of beef chuck cut into cubes
  • 4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound of diced bacon
  • 3 tablespoons of fine all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon of rich tomato concentrate
  • 1 can 10 1/2 ounce of beef stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper as desired
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 pound of fresh mushrooms thinly sliced

Instructions
 

  • In a spacious bowl, blend beef broth, apple cider vinegar, onions, carrots, (optional) brandy, garlic, peppercorns, salt, parsley, and bay leaf. Introduce beef to the mixture, ensuring an even coat. Seal and refrigerate for 24 hours.
  • Warm your oven to 300°F (150°C).
  • Separate the beef from the mixture, patting off any excess moisture with towels. Retain the vegetables and reserve the broth mix.
  • Using a skillet, warm 2 tablespoons of oil on medium-high. Sear beef in segments and shift to a bowl. In the skillet, brown the bacon till golden, then transfer to the beef bowl.
  • Clear out the skillet and reintroduce 2 tablespoons of oil. Sauté the onions until soft and add the saved vegetables. Use a slotted spoon to move them to the beef bowl.
  • Brown the flour in the skillet's residues. Blend in garlic and tomato paste. Add an additional can of beef stock, the saved broth mix, salt, and pepper. When boiling, pour over the beef ensemble in the bowl. Move this mixture into a baking dish.
  • Bake until beef becomes tender, stirring occasionally for about 3 hours. If the mixture becomes too thick, a bit of water can be added.
  • A few minutes before serving, melt butter in a pan over high heat. Sauté mushrooms until golden and fold into the beef mixture.
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