The Beau and I have been going in different directions for weeks, so I wanted to make a special Sunday Supper. Whenever I want to make something lovely, I drift toward the incomparable Julia Child and her beef bourguignon, or at least my version of it.

Tonight’s take on the classic French beef stew uses a rioja rather than a burgundy, and has more of an au jus than a stew-y sauce.


5 slices thick cut, uncured bacon, cut into large pieces
4 beef tenderloins, cut into large pieces
1 cup beef stock
1 cup Rioja (Spanish red wine)
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
1 lb frozen pearl onions
1 lb fresh carrots, peeled, cut long-ways
2 cups crimini mushrooms, cleaned, sliced


How I Made It

Cook the bacon in a non-stick skillet. Transfer the bacon to the slow cooker/crock pot with a slotted spoon. Brown the tenderloin pieces in the bacon fat, and then transfer them with a slotted spoon to the crock pot. Add the frozen pearl onions on top.


Add the wine to the skillet and scrape the brown bits up with a spoon or spatula.  When it starts to bubble and all the bits have been incorporated, add the beef broth.  Then add the garlic, tomato paste, and thyme and stir to combine. Let it cook on medium-high heat for a minute or two before pouring the sauce into the slow cooker.

Cover and let the concoction cook on low heat for 8 hours.  Add the mushrooms at 4 hours, and the carrots an hour or two before the end (depending on how crisp you want them).

Serve over mashed potatoes. If you need more veggies, green beans are a perfect side.

How It Turned Out

The Beau made all sorts of happy sounds at the table, and was quick to take a big bowl of leftovers for his lunch tomorrow.  I think I might like it better than the original, not just because it’s easier but because the sauce is a bit lighter.


A lovely holiday or Sunday dinner is just 3 steps and 3 hours away.


5 lb boneless beef top loin roast
salt and pepper
walnut oil
dried bay leaves (8-10)

How I Made It

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.  Line a roasting pan with non-stick aluminum foil.  Drizzle 1/8 of a cup of walnut oil in the bottom of the pan.  Place the bay leaves in the center of the pan, spacing them a bit but creating a a bed for the roast.

Rinse and pat the roast dry. Place it with the fat layer down on top of the sage and oil.  Season it with salt and pepper, and drizzle just a little more of the oil over it.

Cover the roast with foil and roast for 2 hours.  Roast another 30-45 minutes uncovered, watching so that it doesn’t get too done on the outside.

My family like their meat done medium to charcoal, so I let it roast until the meat thermometer read 135 degrees (it reached 145degrees by the time we were done carving it). This gave us well done ends and a pink but not bloody middle.  Perfect!

Roast Beast

How It Turned Out

I did sacrifice a little tenderness for the ease of making this roast.  It wasn’t dry or tough, but it wasn’t as tender as it would have been with marination or roasting in more liquid.  But with a little red wine sauce, it was just right.  And leftovers were great for a breakfast of steak and eggs.