Julia Childs Boeuf Bourguignon 1940s ration style

Julia Childs cooked Boeuf Bourguignon in the 1940’s.

Having watched Julie & Julia on DVD again last night, the pain of watching this dish being prepared led me to spend an hour ‘Googling-to-within-an-inch-of-my-life’ into the early hours of the morning, wondering if there was a way to replicate this dish in anyway while still keeping within my allotted ration quota.

As I type, the Boeuf Bourguignon, a la Julia Childs, a la wartime rationing (cheap stewing beef instead of sirloin, standard onions instead of pearl and NO mushrooms!) is smelling wonderful and my Mac Book Air is holding up well under the excessive saliva bath it is receiving.

The recipe is not quite authentic Julia Childs but essentially it is pretty much the same.

Please come back later and I’ll share the recipe and photographs with you…

Bon Appetit!

7.29 pm precisely Nom, Nom, NOM!!!! This is fantastic! Who would think that big chunks of stewing beef could be so melt in the mouth. I am still noming…Nom, Nom, NOM!!

My adapted recipe coming shortly…

Click here for the original Julia Child’s Beef Bourguignon recipe

Beef Bourguignon 1940’s Ration Style

  • 1 lb to 1.5 lbs of stewing steak
  • 4 large carrots
  • 2-3 rashers of thick bacon
  • butter for frying
  • 2 onions cut into 6 pieces each
  • 1 cup of red wine (that you like the taste of)
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 1 dessert spoon of tomato paste or drain all the liquid from a large can of tomatoes
  • herbs such as bay leaf, rosemary, thyme and parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch sugar
  • Bisto or flour to thicken


  • Cube the stewing steak after drying the surface,  and brown/sear it (using some of the butter in a pan) and set aside.
  • Chop and brown the bacon and set aside
  • Brown the onions in the same pan afterwards (with more butter) and set aside
  • In a large saucepan add all the above together, plus the chopped carrots (large pieces), red wine, beef stock, tomato paste, herbs.
  • Bring to boil and lower heat and simmer slowly for 2 + hours, or for several hours in a slow cooker on low (or put in a casserole dish in oven). Add more water where needed and thicken with Bisto or flour (made into thin paste and added to pot while stirring).
  • Continue cooking until the beef is really, really tender and the stock has reduced. Slow and long is the key!
  • Add salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar to your own taste half and hour before the end.