Beet bourguignon

Beet bourguignon

The Green Kitchen
Johanna Frenkel

Most people are familiar with Julia Child’s classic recipe for boef bourguignon. Talk about making an impression and leaving a footprint. Her boef bourguignon is made with beef and bacon, so not the most appropriate dish for vegetarians, but we reckoned that there must be a way to transform that rich, wine-oozing hot pot into something more to our taste. After a few experiments it turns out that we were only one letter away. We turned beef into beet. We also added large chunks of mushrooms to give the stew the right texture and flavour. Our root mash is also a good companion.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablepoons extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 small beetroots, peeled and quartered
6 carrots, sliced in large pieces
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons tomato puree
250ml red wine, (use vegan wine if you are vegan)
500ml vegetable stock
400g puy lentils
pinch sea salt
2 tablepoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 portobello mushrooms, sliced
10 crimini mushrooms
10 pearl onions, peeled
2 teaspoons arrowroot, dissolved in 2 tbsp water
a few springs thyme, leaves picked, to garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic and sauté until soft. Toss the beetroot, carrots, bay leaves, thyme and salt and pepper into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in the tomato purée, red wine and vegetable stock and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rinse the lentils under running water. Bring 1 litre of water and the lentils to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes. When almost cooked, add the salt. Drain off any excess water, cover and set aside.
  4. Now heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, lower the heat and sear the mushrooms and pearl onions, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden in colour. Season to taste and set aside.
  5. Taste the stew and add more wine, stock or herbs if you like. Add the arrowroot mixture. Stir gently, just until thickened and clear. Add the mushrooms and onions and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  6. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving. Spoon the stew into 4 bowls together with the lentils, and sprinkle with fresh thyme.
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