Got a Beef? Here’s Just the Thing:

Ooh, child, this is something good. And if you’re looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day dinner, you’ve found it. You can make it in advance, freeze it if you like, and it requires no last minute fiddling. But most importantly it would pair well with a chocolate dessert. A girl has her priorities.

Alex HItz's Beef Bourguignon, as pictured on his website for The Beverly Hills Kitchen.

Alex Hitz, longtime friend from Atlanta now living in New York and Los Angeles, is a Renaissance man if ever there was one, and a hell of a cook. So good in fact that his latest business venture, The Beverly Hills Kitchen, has taken off. He is huge on HSN, and he has a cookbook coming out in the fall from Alfred Knoph: My Beverly Hills Kitchen – Uptown, Down Home, Southern Comfort Food.

Alex Hitz, prepping for a party.

He has the cred, too, having trained at the Cordon Bleu and owned a restaurant while establishing himself as the consummate host in Atlanta before charming the pants off everyone in New York, and then wow-ing them in LA, which isn’t easily wowed. That was a really long sentence, but appropriate: Alex takes no shortcuts in his cooking or his entertaining, unlike lazy old me, and his recipes reflect that. This is a proper beef Burgundy and deserves the time and care it takes to prepare. The good news is you cannot possibly mess it up. Serve it with a simple green salad, or fresh kale with roasted pine nuts and vinaigrette; and rice, farro, mashed potatoes, or cheese grits (!)–or just a great, crusty French bread. Following is Alex’s recipe, always a good idea to read it through before you start. I’m just sayin’. He also recommends making it a day ahead, to give the rich flavors a chance to develop. Yum.

Beef “Bourguignon”
Yields 6
“Certainly the most delicious beef dish ever concocted by man.” That’s strong talk coming from Julia Child, and I’ll take it. Beef Bourguignon was the very first product that I had commercially made and manufactured for my company, The Beverly Hills Kitchen. This dish, as the name implies, originated in the Burgundy region of France, where there was beef, and onions, and wine aplenty, and is the synthesis of everything great about the region’s bounty. Mine differs from the traditional one in many ways, not the least of which is the omission of the rendered bacon, which I find unappealing after it simmers. Instead, I have brightened up the traditional flavors with fresh Basil, Parmesan cheese, and Dijon mustard. --Alex Hitz
  1. 1 cup beef stock
  2. 2 1/2 cups white wine
  3. 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons dried basil, divided
  4. 3 teaspoon salt, divided
  5. 2 tablespoons salted butter
  6. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  7. 3 ½ pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch square chunks
  8. 2 tablespoons minced onion
  9. 5 tablespoons minced garlic
  10. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. 3/4 pound peeled sliced carrots
  13. 3/4 pound frozen pearl onions
  14. 1 pound mushrooms, halved
  15. 1 pound grape tomatoes
  16. 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  17. 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, firmly packed
  18. 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  19. 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  20. 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  21. 4 tablespoons salted butter
  22. 6 tablespoons flour
  23. ¾ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
  1. In a medium stock pot over high heat, bring the stock and wine to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon dried basil and 1 teaspoon salt.
  2. In a large skillet over a high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter and vegetable oil, and when the foaming subsides, add beef, stirring to sear a minute or two on each side. Remove beef and blot to dry on paper towels.
  3. Add onion, garlic, tomato paste and bay leaf to stock pot, and then the beef.
  4. Bring to boil again, then lower heat to simmer the beef for one hour and fifteen minutes, until the beef is completely tender.
  5. Add carrots, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, shallots, cheese, mustard, parsley, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper, cooking another half-hour or until carrots are tender. Using a strainer, remove beef and vegetables from the pot.
  6. Turn the heat back up to medium high, until it begins to bubble. Meanwhile in a heavy skillet over a medium-high heat, add the butter and flour and cook it until you have a golden brown roux, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the roux to the simmering liquid, whisking vigorously to break up the lumps. Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils it will have thickened appropriately.
  7. Turn off the heat, and return the vegetables and beef to the sauce and stir in the fresh basil. You may serve immediately; cover and refrigerate for a day or two (recommended to let the flavors meld); or freeze.
Frances Schultz


    1. Thank you Bettsi! Here are a couple of shortcuts, JIC you change your mind: The work is mostly in the prep, so if your grocery store sells already cut up vegetables, go for it. (I’m not above it myself, that’s for sure) And if you want to skip the roux, dredge the beef in flour before browning it, that sort of builds in the roux for you. You can also order the dish frozen from website, but when I posted this it was sold out so I didn’t want to advertise it.

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