The Carb Swap Ina Garten Thinks Improves Beef Bourguignon

Ina Garten has never been shy about expressing her admiration for Julia Child and sharing how Child inspired the "store-bought is fine" chef to learn to cook. Garten told Today, "I would have to say that Julia Child's my biggest culinary inspiration because she really taught me how to cook through her cookbooks. I learned how to make hollandaise sauce the right way, and then she showed me how to make it the quick way without losing any of the quality."

 So it seems appropriate that, per the Barefoot Contessa website, Garten made the famed chef's beef bourguignon in 2021 to mark the release of her friends' documentary, "Julia." However, Garten made a few changes, adapting Child's recipe and sharing her version, which doesn't take the four hours Child's recipe takes. 

What exactly is beef bourguignon? Recipe Tin Eats explains this meaty dish is French and is best described as a slow-cooked beef stew that uses a red wine sauce as its base. It's both rich and comforting. As Insider notes, beef bourguignon is often served with mashed potatoes or noodles, but those aren't the only sides that will make this recipe sing. Garten makes a carb swap that she believes works better with this dish.

Toasted country white bread does the trick

During an episode of "Barefoot Contessa," Ina Garten revealed that not all French cooking is fancy and that beef bourguignon is better thought of as rustic, French, country cooking. But Garten has put her spin on the dish, swapping the traditional mashed potatoes for grilled country white bread rubbed with garlic that she places in the bowl before pouring the stew over it to soak up the rich broth. Garten compares it to gravy and bread. Garten explained that she and her assistant put the different ingredients to the test and the toasted bread was the most flavorful.

It seems like a genius move, but don't take our word for it. Jennifer Garner has been singing its praises for years. The "13 Going on 30" star told Bon Appétit Garten's beef bourguignon is one of her favorite recipes to make. Garner said, "the grilled bread dipped in the stew is worth every bite — even if half the table is filled with actors on no-carb diets! No matter what, it is absolutely a winner and gives everyone the feeling of luxury and time and depth of flavor."