Civet de Boeuf : Blood Bourguignon

Today, we’re back with another hearty, filling winter dish : Civet de Boeuf. As the name indicates, this recipe comes from France and is part of a long tradition of blood cooking. A civet, traditionally, is a stew of a game animal thickened with the animal’s blood. The most iconic of which is the “Civet de Lièvre” (jugged hare); but it’s also often prepared with roe deer and boar. (Civet de Chevreuil ou de Sanglier). Here, however, we’re going to use braising beef and pig’s blood. Ideally, you’d use beef blood for beef, but I’ve not been able to source any at this time.

This recipe will seem very familiar to the French in our audience, as it is very similar to the more well known “Boeuf Bourguignon”, aside from the addition of blood and lack of mushrooms.

It’s pretty easy to make, but does require time – a lot of time. 48h to marinate and then about 3h of simmering over low fire. You could reduce the marinade to about 12h, but believe me, taking the time is entirely worth it. You’ll get extremely tender meat in a thick, smooth sauce full of flavour and depth.

This is dish that freezes well, so feel free to make a big pot! Just portion it out into serving sizes and keep in the freezer for a lazy meal.

Here it is !

Ingredients (for 4)

Marinade :

  • 2 large onions, sliced / chopped
  • 1 shallot, sliced / chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced / minced
  • sprigs of thyme, rosemary, oregano, marjoram
  • salt and pepper
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Stew :

  • 200 ml pig’s blood
  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 parsnips, turnips (or other root vegetable of choice)
  • lard
  • beef stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 1 generous tablespoon of jam (black raisin, blackcurrant, redcurrant, raspberry….)
  • 800g of beef chuck steak (braising steak)


  1. Prepare the marinade: mince the onions and garlic. Cut the carrots into slices. Place them into a large container with the bouquet garni, wine, oil, and pepper. Marinate the meat in the refrigerator for 48 hours.

  2. Remove the meat, carrots, onions and garlic from the marinade – make sure to reserve the liquid. In a large pan, sear the meat, aromatics, and carrots. Deglaze the pan with the marinade, allow it to reduce a little, and set aside.

  3. In the same pan, add the lard and vegetables. Braise them until they are slightly golden. 

  4. Put the meat back into the pan, add the vegetable or beef stock, vinegar, bouquet garni, and the rest of the wine. Leave to simmer under cover for about 3 hours.

  5.  Remove the meat and vegetables from the casserole, let the cooking juice settle, then pass through a sieve. Adjust seasoning and add the jam. Simmer a little more on low heat..

  6. Meanwhile, mix the vinegar with the blood. When the sauce is reduced, add the blood to the pot – don’t allow the mixture to boil or the blood will be curdled. Cook on low / medium heat for about a minute. The blood will gently denature and begin to thicken the sauce.

  7. Put the meat and vegetables back into the pot (again!;) and let it cook for another 3 minutes. Serve hot, with a little chopped parsley or chives.

Notes and Tips:

I did not add any, but mushrooms may go really well with this dish. Throwing a couple in right at the end could be quite tasty!

This dish works great on its own, but you can also serve it with rice, pasta, polenta or any cooked grain (spelt, rye…). But if you like it fancy, you could go for some Alsatian spaetzle, or Romanian dumplings (galuste). 





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