Beef Bourguignon Over Polenta

**This recipe was featured as part of our 2020 Virtual New Release Wine & Food Pairings.**

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A classic, hearty dish that is a natural pairing with a medium to heavy body dry red wine. The intensity of the beef and acidity of the tomato based braising sauce pair in nicely with the complexity and acidity of Cabernet Sauvignon. The smokiness in the wine as a result of barrel aging also pairs with the earthy notes present in the food. Polenta serves as an excellent base, though roasted or mashed potatoes would work equally well.


  • Cabernet Sauvignon


  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 6 slices bacon, roughly chopped

  • 3 pounds beef shank with bone

  • 1 cup dry red wine (e.g. Capriccio)

  • 2 cups warm water

  • 2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon – Roasted Beef Base

  • 2 large Carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 white onion, chopped

  • 1 Tablespoon Garlic, minced

  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme, chopped

  • 8 ounces, cremini mushrooms, chopped

  • 14 ounces crushed tomatoes

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

  • Chopped parsley, for garnish

  • Polenta (course yellow grits)


  1. Set pressure cooker* to medium heat or place over medium heat. Add oil and bacon. Sear bacon 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Remove bacon and set aside.
  2. Add beef to pot and sear 3-4 minutes, turning to sear all sides.
  3. Add red wine to the pot and with a wooden spoon scrape any brown bits of the bottom and side of the pot. Simmer and reduce for about 5 minutes. Gradually add water, beef base and tomatoes to pot.
  4. Stir in bacon, carrots, onion, garlic, thyme, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cover and set to pressure cook for 45 minutes.
  5. Do a natural release until your pressure cooker indicates it is safe to open (do nothing, just allow to depressurize during this time) Remove lid.
  6. Turn heat to medium, sauté and allow to thicken for 5 – 10 minutes.
  7. Remove bone and any fatty bits. Shred beef and stir together.
  8. Cook polenta according to directions on package.
  9. Serve beef over the polenta. Garnish with parsley.

*Note: A pressure cooker is not required for this recipe, though it does make it go faster. If you don’t have a pressure cooker substitute step 4 for 2-3 hours of braising in your over at 250 degrees Fahrenheit.