Beef Bourguignon & Burgundy

Julia Child started inspiring amateur cooks and housewives across America when she first brought us her famous Boeuf Bourguignon recipe on The French ChefThis recipe takes about 30 minutes to pull together and another 2 plus hours for cooking, but it’s so worth it! Plus, you’ll have lots of leftovers.

The classic pairing for beef bourguignon is none other than an elegant Burgundy.  For those that don’t know, red Burgundy is made from 100% Pinot Noir from the Burgundy region of France. Until recently, French wine laws did not allow producers to put the varietal on the label.  A change in wine laws now permits this to help European wine makers compete on a more global scale. However, many producers in France are very traditional and have not implemented these changes. When you are shopping in a wine store and see Burgundy on the label and no mention of Pinot Noir, rest assured it’s made from the Pinot grape. There is one exception to this – Beaujolais. Beaujolais is an appellation within Burgundy that’s known for a red wine made from the Gamay grape. While Grand Cru Burgundies are among the most sought after collectible wines in the world, there are some great values out there.  Your best values are going to come from the Côte Chalonnaise in southern Burgundy. Look for the following region on the bottles (Rully, Mercurey and Givrey). With that said, your favorite Pinot Noir will work just fine with this dish. I am going to stay true to the French tradition and reach for a bottle of Burgundy! Here are a few great choices for some inspiration if you want to explore a Burgundy.

Recipe: Beef Bourguignon (Note: This is my paleo-friendly version)


3 lbs pot roast (stew meat)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 & 1/2 tbsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. Herbs de Provence
4 thyme & rosemary sprigs (tie with kitchen string)
1/2 bottle of Pinot Noir or Burgundy
1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 medium yellow onion (medium dice)
2 small sweet potatoes (medium dice)
4 carrots (cut on angle – 1/2 inch pieces)
2 parsnips (cut on angle – 1/2 inch pieces)
1 cup portobello mushrooms (sliced)
1 bag of pearl onions
1/4 cup fresh parsley (chopped)


Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.

Pat beef dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper & garlic powder on all sides. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.
Sear beef in batches. About 3-4 minutes per side should give you a nice sear. Don’t crowd the pan! Transfer beef to a bowl. Set aside. Add diced onion to pan and cook for about 5-10 minutes in beef fat to get another layer of flavor. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, & parsnips. Mix with onions to get all your veggies covered with all that beefy goodness. Add tomato paste and integrate with veggies.  Add wine a little at a time and deglaze the pan.  Add stew meat back to pan, mushrooms, Herbs de Provence, rosemary & thyme sprigs and chicken or beef stock. Make sure all the meat and veggies are covered. Cook for at least 2 hours in the oven. I usually let mine cook for about 3 hours. The longer you cook it, the more tender the beef is. If you choose to thicken the sauce, mix 1 tbsp. almond flour and 1 tbsp. grape seed or olive oil in a small ramekin until well combined and add to stew.  Add parsley and serve. Serves 8.


Chili & Zinfandel

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when pairing wine and chili. First, if you like 5-alarm chili, there isn’t a wine on the planet that will work well with it. The spice will completely take over the wine. You’re better off sticking with beer in this case. My “Zinful” Chili recipe has a nice zing that will work beautifully with a big jammy, spicy Zinfandel from California.  I also like to add some Zinfandel to the chili as another way to integrate the flavors. Another thing to keep in mind, alcohol tends to exacerbate the heat, so while Zinfandels tend to have higher alcohol it still works well if you serve it slightly chilled with a mild, flavorful chili. The warmer the wine the more pronounced the alcohol will appear. Chilling the Zinfandel also make the bright jammy fruits pop more on your palate.  A sparkling Malbec is also a fun alternative, but they are a bit difficult to find.

Recommended Producers

Recipe: Beef Chili (Paleo-friendly) 


1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (93%)
1 tbsp. olive oil
3 bell peppers (red, green & yellow), large dice
1 large yellow onion, large dice
1 jalapeño, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. cumin
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Zinfandel
1-28 oz can San Marzano crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock or beef stock (homemade) – if using a store bought broth, make sure it’s gluten-free and low-sodium


Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat, add ground beef and let brown for about 8-10 minutes. Drain off excess fat, then add garlic, jalapeno, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder & Italian seasoning and combine. Add 1/4 cup Zinfandel (optional). Then add peppers, onions, crushed tomatoes. For thicker chili just one cup of stock. Let simmer for an hour and serve. Garnish with fresh mashed avocados in place of sour cream and scallions. Serves 6-8.

One other note, since this is chili, I would recommend a budget friendly wine for this dish. You have alot of flavors going on, so the wine really won’t take center stage but play more of a supporting role.

Everyday Wine (Under $15)

Mid-Priced ($16-30)

  • Jelly Jar Zinfandel, Lake County, California (I absolutely adore this Zinfandel, but depending on where you live, it can be hard to find so you may need to buy it online direct from the vineyard, I included the link for your convenience)
  • Federalist Zinfandel, Dry Creek, California – Available at Yianni’s Wine Shop (Virginia Beach) & Total Wine


Chesapeake Baja Burger & Riesling

Chesapeake Baja BurgerBelieve it or not, you can pair a juicy burger with a Riesling! My Chesapeake Baja Burger calls for caramelized jalapenos, avocado, jumbo lump crab meat and cilantro lime mayo on top of an 8 oz burger. The Riesling cools off the heat of the peppers, the tropical and peach flavors in the wine add harmony to the avocado and cilantro while the bright citrus notes provide a beautiful backdrop for the crab meat and make the lime notes pop!

Grab your favorite off-dry Riesling or give one of these budget-friendly wines a try!

Recommended Producers

Charles Smith Kung Fu Girl Riesling, Washington State (SRP: $12)
Doctor Loosen “Doctor L” Riesling  (SRP: $12)
Fox Run Vineyards Semi-Dry Riesling, Finger Lakes, New York (SRP: $14)