Beef Bourguignon Pastries

Just finished watching CNN and feel bad for all the people freezing over in the Arctic wind blast, so here’s my recipe offering to the Mid-Westerners and East-Coasters today (and, of course, my friends up in Canada!):  Beef Bourguignon Pastries stuffed with a hearty, luscious red wine based stew.  Pair these pockets with a strong, fragrant black tea still hot enough to have steam swirling up and this snack will warm you on the chilliest of winter days!

Ever since I watched the movie Julie & Julia I’ve meant to try Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon recipe.  After coming back from New Orleans with a vintage 1961 copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I knew it was finally time to break out my Mario Batali cast iron pot that’s been hiding in the back of my cabinet for the last 5 years.  It’s as if the pot, which I received as a wedding gift, has waited to make its debut for the most special of recipes.

To turn this classic recipe into a tea time delicacy, I decided to stuff this rich stew it into some flaky pie crust.  Rest assure, I stayed true to all proportions of ingredients and techniques for this classic recipe.  The only change I made was to cut the ingredients into smaller pieces and chunks so that I could more easily create a filling for these pastries.

I’m not gonna lie, this stew does take a while to come together, so plan on a 2-3 hour commitment.  The best thing to do is to make a full recipe of the beef bourguignon (by doubling the recipe below), eat half for dinner(s), then save the other half to make pastries the next day.  If you do this you’ll also have to increase the time the stew spends in the oven by an hour or so.  Just check the stew periodically to see when it gets to a thick (not too liquid) consistency.  And please don’t fall asleep while you are waiting for the stew to cook down in the oven!  If you’ve watched Julie & Julia you know that that just might be your undoing…set those timers on LOUD!To remember New Orleans where I got my copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I paired these pockets with a cup of Luzianne Tea, a black tea blend made in Louisiana. Luzianne Tea is really pretty good.  And for $3.79 you can’t go wrong.

As you can tell, I’m not elitist when it comes to tea.  Although I do love tea in its best-quality loose leaf form, there are some “over the counter” supermarket teas that I also really enjoy. At the end of the day, I think the important thing is how a tea tastes and more importantly, how the tea makes you feel.

It’s so cold right now I can’t bear to drink this tea cold, but sweet tea drinkers swear by this blend for its crisp and smooth flavor and color.  And if you can’t find Luzianne, any straight forward robust black tea will pair well with the pastries.  I would suggest one without any added flavorings so that all the deep flavors of the beef stew will come through.

Boeuf bourguignon pastries make a rustic wintertime tea snack.  If you’ve ever thought about making any Julia Child recipe, start with this one.  This isn’t the simplest recipe but it’s a good one, worth the time to make.  With a bite of this rich, beefy pocket you’ll understand why Julia Child forever changed the way Americans eat and enjoy good food.

Boeuf Bourguignon Pastries (Using Julia Child’s Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe)

Makes 15 turnover pastries.

Ingredients: (this is a half-portion of Julia Child’s original recipe)

3 oz. piece of bacon, cut into lardons (1/4″ x 1 1/2″)

1 1/2 tsp olive oil

1 1/2 pounds lean stew beef, cut into 1/2″ cubes

1/2 carrot, sliced

1/2 large onion, sliced

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp flour

1 1/2 cups red wine

1 1/2 cups beef stock

1 1/2 tsp tomato paste

1 clove garlic, mashed

1/4 tsp thyme

1 small bay leaf crumbled

2 Tbsp parsley, finely chopped

{Oignons Glaces A Brun} a.k.a. Brown-Braised Onions

12 small onions, peeled

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup beef stock

salt and pepper to taste

4 sprigs parsley, a small bay leaf, and 1/8 tsp thyme tied together in cheesecloth

{Champignons Sautes Au Beurre} a.k.a. Sautéed Mushrooms

8 oz. mushrooms, cut into 1/4″dice

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp olive oil

{Pastry Pocket}

3 rolled, refrigerated pie crusts (from 2 packages, I used Pillsbury)

1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp water


large Dutch oven or oven proof pot with lid

slotted spoon

paper towels

cheesecloth for bouquet garni

large skillet with lid

4.5 inch round cookie cutter

pastry brush

large cookie sheet covered with parchment paper


1.)  Boil the lardons in a large pot of boiling water for about 10 minutes.  Drain and dry off the lardons with paper towels.  Pour oil in a large dutch oven.  Heat on stove top at med-high, then add lardons.  Cook lardons for 2-3 minutes until they are lightly browned and have rendered off some of their fat.

2.)  Remove browned lardons from the pot using a slotted spoon, then place aside on large dish.  Increase heat to high, and add the beef stew meat (blot the meat with paper towels to dry first), making sure not to crowd the pieces so that they can all get nicely browned.  Depending on how large your dutch oven is, you may want to brown the meat in two separate batches.  Brown the meat pieces on all sides.  This will take about 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

3.)  When all the meat has browned, add it to the large dish with the lardons and set aside.  With the remaining oil in the dutch oven, lower the heat back to med-high and add the sliced onion and carrots and cook until softened, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the browned stew meat and lardons back into pot and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Scatter the flour onto the mixture and toss in, then place the pot in the oven uncovered for 4 minutes.  After 4 minutes, toss the mixture again and place back in oven for another 4 minutes.  Remove the pot from the oven and then lower the heat to 325 degrees F.

4.)  Add red wine, water, tomato paste, thyme leaves, bay leaf and mashed garlic to the dutch oven.  Place on stove top and bring the liquids to a light boil, then return the pot to the oven, covered, to cook in the lower 1/3 of the oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender and you get a thick and luscious stew.

5.)  While beef stew is cooking in oven, prepare the onions {Oignons Glaces A Brun}:  heat butter and oil over med-high heat in a large skillet until bubbling, then add onions and sauté for about 10 minutes, rolling the onions to brown on all sides.  Lower the heat and add in the beef stock, salt, pepper, and bouquet garni.  Let onions simmer for 30-40 minutes, covered, until soft and tender.  Cool, then cut into a 1/4″ dice and set aside.

6.)  Next, prepare the mushrooms {Champignons Sautes Au Beurre}:  heat the butter and oil in a large skillet over high heat.  When butter and oil melt and the foamy bubbles subside, add the mushrooms and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the mushrooms brown lightly, then set aside.

7.)  When the sauce of the stew is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and the meat is tender, remove the dutch oven from the oven and mix in the onions and mushrooms.  When completely cooled to room temperature, sprinkle the stew with finely chopped parsley and mix in.  This will be the filling for the turnover pastries.

8.)  Heat oven to 400 degrees F.  Cut 5 rounds of dough from each of 3 pie crust pieces.  Fill the center of each dough round with a slightly rounded tablespoon of the filling, then use dabs of water to fold one half of the dough piece onto the other, creating a crescent-shaped turnover pastry.  You will have enough filling to fill 15 turnovers.  Place turnovers on a large parchment lined baking sheet, then paint the filled crescents with beaten egg wash.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

And if you want a loose leaf tea to pair with these pastries, check out Fortum & Mason’s Royal Blend.  It’s a strong black tea blend with assertive, bright flavor.  Like a fancier, more robust version of Luzianne!