French Chef Friday,  Vegetarian,  Whats for Dinner?

French Chef Friday: Boeuf Bourguignon (Vegetarian Update to Portobello Burgandy)

Julia Child’s most famous dish is the Boeuff Bourguignon. But not everyone eats beef. Today I’m going to introduce you to a woman you’ve known since the French Chef walked into our life, and introduce you to my Portobello Burgandy- a vegetarian update of Beef Burgandy.


Introduction to Julia

Julia Child really doesn’t need an introduction. What can I say about the woman who single-handedly inspired generations of chefs by bringing French cooking into our homes with her debut cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” (1961) and her television show “The French Chef” (1962-1973)?  Julia Child is the mother of cooking television. Having served in the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, she attended and graduated from the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris. My favorite Julia Child “Theory” is that she was able to use the GI Bill to attend Cordon Bleu because she was a spy. Julia was 6’2”, the average height of a man during this time was 5’8”, so to think of Julia Childs as a James Bond-style spy, she would be memorable. Spy or Secretary, she served when she was needed.

During social distancing, my fiancé James and I started watching “Dishing with Juila Child” on WHYY and we realized how important she has been to television history and home cooking. For those who have not watched “Dishing with Juila Child” master chefs and TV personalities like Martha Stewart, Josè Andres, Eric Ripert, Vivian Howard, Marcus Samuelsson and others watch an episode of the French Chef and give commentary while watching Julia Childs work her magic. It is amazing hearing them dish about their times with Julia and her process. Technology has changed since she originally recorded the French Chef, I want to take these shows, and see how Instant Pots, CrockPots, and other modern conveniences can be used to update Julia’s recipes. Julia brought us French cooking and made it accessible, I want to make it modern, and in some cases healthier, or just vegetarian.

Season 1, Episode 1: Boeuf Bourguignon– The show that started it all

Julia Child started it all with Boeuf Bourguignon. This is where the world met Julia face to face. She was already in our kitchens with her debut cookbook, but now she was in our living room teaching us how to cook.

Boeuf Bourguignon, or Beef Burgundy, is an impressive dish full of flavor from the beef stock, wine, herbs and good quality meats. Watching this episode, Julia had every section of the dish prepped in different bowls and sometimes using multiple pots. I already have the problem of using every bowl and pot in the house when cooking, but the Gods inspired humans to invent the dishwasher for a reason. My original goal for this is to use my Instant Pot to make this dish in half the time of the original recipe and not use EVERY bowl in the house. Julia (like many/all TV chefs) preps every item in its own bowl before bringing it to be cooked, for my own sanity, I’m going to try to do this with as few bowls as possible, can I do it with only 1 set of Vintage Pyrex Nesting Bowls.

But also in my house, we have my fiancé, who is a vegetarian. While I fussed with making this recipe Instapot ready. I also worked on making a vegetarian version that he could have something just as exciting as Julia’s Boeuf Bourguignon. I played around in the kitchen and made Portabella Bourguignon. The portabella version was more delicious of the two and the process worked better. So tonight, we have Portobello Burgandy.

Portobello Bourguignon (Portobello Burgandy)

Julia Childs Beef Burgandy updated to a vegetarian delight!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Servings 4 people


  • Dutch Oven


For Portobello Burgandy

  • 1 cup mushroom broth
  • ¼ teaspoon vegan Worcestershire Sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small onion peeled and sliced
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 large portobellos mushrooms
  • 3 cups Red wine 1 bottle
  • 1 cups mushroom stock
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon flour

For the Pearl Onions

  • 18-24 white pearl onions peeled
  • 1.5 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1.5 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup Vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 sprigs parsley

For the Sauteed Mushrooms

  • 1 pound Mushrooms quartered
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


The Process

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  • Heat 1 cup mushroom broth over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add Worcestershire Sauce, Liquid Smoke, and dried mushrooms.
  • In a cast-iron Dutch oven, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Lightly sauté Mushrooms, Carrots, and Portabellas. Move to medium bowl.
  • Pour 1 cup of red wine (about 1/3 of the bottle) to deglaze any burn bits on to the bottom of the pan.
  • Pour in the rest of the bottle of wine and return mushrooms and vegetables back to the Dutch Oven.
  • Add 1-2 cups of mushroom stock, just enough to almost cover the Vegetables. Add dried mushroom mixture and mix.
  • In the now-empty small saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter and mix with flour to make a roux. Cook until flour is cooked but do not burn.
  • Add Roux and herbs to pot and mix.
  • Put Dutch Oven in oven uncovered for 2-3 hours until liquid reduces to a thick and creamy sauce.

For the Onions and Mushrooms

  • Starting with the Onions. Melt butter and oil on medium heat in large frying pan. Add onions and toss around to cover in fat until onions are browned (about 10 minutes).
  • Stir in half cup of beef stock and herbs and cook on medium for about 40 minutes until the liquid has evaporated and onions are tender. Remove Onions from pan and set aside.
  • Melt extra butter in the pan and deglaze.
  • Add Mushrooms and sauté until soft. Season as desired.
Wrap UP!

Let me know your thoughts on Portobello Burgandy. Let me know if you make it! For more recipes, make sure to check out my recipe index.

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