By Cindy Adams

Want to add an elegance experience to your holiday meal? I recommend a Cranberry Beef Bourguignon meal for the perfect December dinner. Serve with French Onion Soup, Honeycrisp Salad and Creamy Mashed Potatoes to delight your family and guests. For added cheer, be sure to serve Homemade Holiday Eggnog. I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy a meal around the table with family and friends. Most of my favorite memories of the holiday season involve being gathered in the kitchen or around the dinner table. So, from my family to yours, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! 


Cranberry Beef Bourguignon

This cranberry beef bourguignon is the perfect December dinner with a side of buttery mashed potatoes. 

Like classic beef bourguignon, this meal is hearty, warming, and makes the perfect stew. If you’re thinking cranberries and beef are a weird combo, think again–it’s the perfect pairing. The tart cranberries go well with the beefy flavors in this dish and are balanced by the sweet red wine. It adds a festive touch. 


1 tablespoon olive oil
6 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
2 1/2 pounds chuck beef cut into cubes
salt and pepper
1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced
6 carrots cut into pieces
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup cognac or brandy
3 cups dry red wine such as Pinot Noir or substitute beef broth
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
2 bay leaves
2 cups fresh cranberries
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
16 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced 


1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. 

2. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the bacon and cook until the fat renders and the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a large plate. 

3. Dry the beef with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Now add the beef to the Dutch oven and sear in batches until the beef is browned all over, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer the beef to the plate with the bacon. Set Aside. 

4. Add the onions to the Dutch oven with the drippings and season with salt and pepper. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and garlic and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, then add the cognac and raise the heat to high. Cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Next, add the meat and all the juice on the plate back to the Dutch oven. Add the wine, beef broth, tomato paste, thyme, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 cup of cranberries. Cover with a tight fighting lid and transfer the pot to the oven. Cook for 2 hours or until the meat is tender. 

5. Remove the pot from the oven and place over medium heat on the stove. Combine the 2 tablespoons butter and the flour until a smooth paste forms, stir into the stew. Add the remaining 1 cup cranberries and cook until the stew thickens just slightly. 

6. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are just browned and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir the mushrooms into the stew and cook another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.