• 1 - 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 slices smoked bacon, diced
  • 2 1/2 pounds elk stew meat or beef
  • Kosher salt, Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pound carrots, 1-inch chunks
  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 (750 ml.) bottle good dry red wine
  • 1 carton (2 cups) beef broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus extra to thicken gravy
  • 1 pound fresh baby bella mushrooms, stems discarded, caps thickly sliced


Bourguignon is a wonderful, wine colored, thick meat and veggie stew, whether you use beef (or boeuf as Julia Child would say) or Elk as I do here since that’s usually what my freezer is full of. My husband is a hunter and I’m always looking for creative ways to use whatever he’s brought home — and lately, to my delight, it’s been elk meat.

Whenever there is elk in our house we steer clear of beef. Not that beef is a bad thing, but why not eat organic when you can. I mean think about it — these elk spent long happy lives running free and eating grass and shrubs. This is what people pay $30/lb. or above for at their organic grocery store. We get it packaged into different cuts — backstrap, tenderloin, stew meat and my personal favorite, ground. I make whatever you would use ground beef for — meat sauce, meatballs, burgers, meatloaf, sloppy joe — I mean the possibilities are endless.

OK, so back to the Bourguignon. Yes, my version of this dish does take time — but not 2 days like Julia’s does — and most of the time is unattended on the stove top. Perfect for a cold and lazy day when you’re looking for something to do, and you’ll have a wonderful meal at the end of the day.

Elk Bourguignon

1. Cube the meat into 1″ squares and dry thoroughly — I mean thoroughly. Put in a ziplock bag, add your flour and shake. Shaking thoroughly dried meat in flour will allow it to  carmelize and not steam in the pan, which would be a huge flavor mistake.

2. Saute in oil, allowing each piece to brown — don’t overcrowd. This may take a few batches. When finished saute the bacon and vegetables til translucent.

3. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover. Let simmer for at least 3 – 4 hours. If the sauce is not thick enough, remove a ladelful and add more flour to it, then return to pot for a few more minutes.


Enjoy over egg noodles, rice or right in the bowl all on its own like we do.