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Cognac Flavored Beef-and-Mushroom Stew

Cognac Flavored Beef-and-Mushroom Stew


Everybody agrees that Beef Bourguignon is a very tasty outstanding dish (the vegans do not vote, but even they can use this dish as a basis: exclude the beef and lardon-bacon, and increase the amount of mushrooms). Still some other good beef stews can compete with the famous French dish.

My Cognac Flavored Beef-and-Mushroom Stew does not require a big list of ingredients, as well as lots of effort, but asks for some patience – two  hours  of cooking time with occasional stirring. But this is a typical time for making stews, and, believe me, every minute I spend on preparing this dish is worth it.

beef mushroom cognac stew (3)

I was using Portobello mushrooms – very fresh, flavorful and meaty which really made the stew tastier.

If I am asked to describe the taste of this dish I would say it is earthy, pure, and rich. And so it is: the rich taste of beef with a bright mushroom flavor, and a delicate touch of the fennel and onion. All these aromas are enhanced with a splash of cognac. (Inexpensive varieties cognac or brandy should be used for cooking – this is what the French do).

The ingredients in the stew are very French, so I am still attributing this wonderful warming dish to the French cuisine.

Mashed potatoes or rice are great side dishes for this rich stew. Add a French baguette with a glass of light and fruity this year’s Beaujolais Nouveau or fancier Pinot Noir – and a lovely French dinner is served.

beef mushroom cognac stew (15)

Cognac Flavored Beef-and-Mushroom Stew


6 servings


  • 1 ½ lb beef chuck (beef stew)
  • 1 lb onions, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 lb Portobello mushrooms
  • ¼ cup cognac or brandy
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil




Trim excess fat from beef. Cut the meat into cubes the size of a little larger than a walnut. Pat dry the meet with a paper towel.

Clean the mushrooms with a brush or a paper towel. Cut into large chucks.

In a heavy bottomed casserole, heat the oil and butter. Add the beef and brown over high heat.

Add the onions and cook over high heat for 5 minutes.

Add the garlic and cook for 45 seconds.

Add the cognac or brandy and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and cook over high heat for 5-7 minutes.

Add salt, black pepper, bay leaves, and fennel seeds; pour water or vegetable stock so the liquid covers the meet-and-mushroom. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer over the lowest heat for about two hours, stirring occasionally.

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Cook with pleasure!


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