Camping Beef Bourguignon {Wonderbag}

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Wonderbag, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #WonderBag

The Wonderbag is an electricity-free slowcooker that is empowering women and saving the environment, not to mention creating delicious meals.  Brain child of Sarah Collins, raised in South Africa, the Wonderbag is an insulated cooking bag that utilizes heat retention to slow cook rice, stews and a whole host of other delicious meals — no energy consumption needed.

My family loves to camp, especially this time of year.  The hot desert temperatures are gone and the cool nights are here — perfect weather to be wrapped up in a sleeping bag with your family.  A crisp night, happy kids, peaceful night sounds… does it get any better?  Oh, and of course a belly full of something warm.  This weekend, our something warm was beef bourguignon.

camping beef bourguignon recipe in_the_know_mom

…with the aid of my new awesome helper – the Wonderbag, now a camping essential in my house!

camping with the wonderbag in_the_know_mom

When my family camps there are no hotdogs allowed.  We do it right.  I guarantee our campsites are always the best smelling, bad for bear safety, great for the taste buds.  Stews are a favorite, especially for colder trips and beef bourguignon is always a winner.  Typically, we scale down the process a bit and take short cuts as to not be cooking away our whole camping trip.  This results in a stew that is awesome, but not epic.  Now, with the Wonderbag, we have EPIC beef bourguignon while we camp, because I can make most of it ahead of time – let me tell you how.

the wonderbag camping review in_the_know_mom

The Wonderbag is an incredible invention that is saving energy and families around the world.  It was created to help women in third world countries to spend more quality time with their families or do something other than cook.  Did you know women living in poverty and third world countries typically spend 4-6 hours per day preparing meals?

Many cook over fires which comes with a whole host of problems.  Open fires require a constant watchful eye and tend to burn food, which is a terrible waste in a poverty-stricken country. Others are burning kerosene to cook meals, which, like wood, creates pollution and toxic fumes, not a great environment for kids to breathe in.  With the little time left not cooking, these women are out foraging for wood and water, up to 10 km away, and this leaves them vulnerable to the violence typical of the areas.  Let’s keep these ladies home and safe with their families!!

The Wonderbag is a heavily insulated bag that takes a hot pot and continues to cook the contents. All you have to do is bring your one-pot-wonder to a boil on your stove and then place in the Wonderbag.  For families in third world countries, the benefits are obvious, but what does it mean for us here in America?

  • reduces fuel consumption and cost
  • less evaporation occurs, and therefore water is conserved
  • never burn a one-pot meal again!
  • make amazing meals while camping

Make a difference

For every Wonderbag purchased in the US, another is given to a family in Africa.  You can also donate additional bags to families – I’m loving this as an idea for the upcoming holiday season for those who like to give the gift of charity.  Purchase your Wonderbag from Amazon.


So back to our camping excursion this weekend!  The night before we left, I started to make my beef bourguignon, a recipe adapted from Weekend Kitchenette, which is an adaption of Julia Child’s beef bourguignon recipe, and who better to take from?

I love any recipe that has me at my local butcher shop, don’t you? I was drooling over these beef short ribs as soon as the butcher handed them over.  gorgeous.

beef short ribs in_the_know_mom

So for this recipe, you would typically purchase boneless beef short ribs — easy to cut into chunks.  I prefer bone-in beef short ribs though, because the flavor that the bone imparts is irreplaceable.  Bone-in is also less expensive.  What I do is slice down the bone and cube that boneless meat.  I treat the boned part the same as the chunks (seasoning, browning) and throw it too in the bourguignon.  It’s just delicious and still has meat that will literally fall off after slow cooking.

beef short ribs beef bourguignon recipe in_the_know_mom

Beef Bourguignon


  • 6 oz 1/4″ thick bacon, cut to 1.5″
  • 3 lbs bone-in beef short ribs, cut into 2″ cubes
  • 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed, rough chop
  • 2 sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • herb bouquet in cheese cloth: 4 parsley sprigs, 1/2 bay leaf and 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 bottle of full bodied red wine (Pinot Noir)
  • 14 oz + 4 oz beef stock
  • 20 pearl onions, peeled
  • 1 lb button mushrooms, sliced


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Add 1 Tbl of olive oil to a heated dutch oven.  Over medium heat, saute bacon until light brown.  Remove and set aside.
  3. Season the beef cubes and bones liberally with salt and pepper.  Roll in flour to coat.

beef bourguignon recipe in_the_know_mom

4. Add beef cubes in small batches, browning on each side – no more than 45 sec per side.  Remove and set aside.

beef bourguignon recipe in_the_know_mom5. Saute onions and carrots till browning occurs.

beef bourguignon recipe in_the_know_mom6. Add in bacon and beef cubes. Sprinkle the meat with salt, pepper and flour. Mix

beef bourguignon recipe in_the_know_mom

7. Put the dutch oven, uncovered, in the hot oven for 4 minutes. After 4 minutes, take the pot and toss the beef. Return it to the oven for another 4 minutes. Remove the pot and lower the temperature of the oven to 320 degrees – or turn off if using the Wonderbag.

8. Pour in 20 oz of wine and 14 oz beef stock to cover the beef. I ended up adding a little bit more stock to cover. Add in tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, thyme and bay leaf.

beef bourguignon recipe in_the_know_mom

10. Bring to high simmer. Cover and place pot into oven for 3 hours – or place in the Wonderbag overnight.  Since there is no direct heat, the stew cannot burn so feel comfortable leaving it in there long as you need.

2-9 quart pots and cast iron ovens easily fit inside the Wonderbag.  Simply place it in and top with the insulator and cinch it up tight.

the wonderbag review in_the_know_mom

While the bourguignon is cooking, saute up the pearl onions and mushrooms (separately).

Pearl Onions

  1. Heat 1 Tbl of butter in a saucepan and add pearl onion.  Saute for 5 minutes.

pearl onions in_the_know_mom2. At browning, add 4 oz beef stock, 4 oz red wine, salt, pepper and herb bouquet.

beef bourguignon recipe in_the_know_mom

3. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until liquid evaporated.

4. Remove herb bouquet and set aside the onions.


  1. Heat a saute pan with 1 Tbl butter and 1 Tbl olive oil
  2. Add mushrooms to brown. Do not stir, only toss after the mushrooms begin to brown.

sauteed mushrooms in_the_know_mom3. Add some salt and pepper. Remove and set aside.

You’ll know your meat is ready when a fork easily pierces it… it will be so creamy and YUM.

beef bourguignon recipe in_the_know_mom

the wonderbag review in_the_know_mom

Once your meat is nice and tender,

  1. Drain the pot contents through a sieve, catching the liquid in a sauce pan.
  2. Remove the bones and bay leaf.
  3. Run a knife through the large pieces of meat that fell off the bones.
  4. Return it all to the dutch oven and add the onions and mushrooms.
  5. Reduce the liquid until you have about 2 cups of sauce.
  6. Serve the meat and veggies with sauce over top.  Crusty baguette and a good beer are musts!

Happy Camping!

beef bourguignon recipe in_the_know_mom

The Wonderbag is the perfect camping cooking vessel, but I plan on also using it for potlucks and tailgating… maybe even to help out this Thanksgiving.  Remember, when you purchase one, one is sent to a family in need in Africa.  Purchase from Amazon. Keep in the know by liking Wonderbag on Facebook, following on Twitter and Instagram.

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  1. November 4, 2013 at 12:50 pm — Reply

    Ok, first of all, that is crazy cool and I want one! Second, your pictures make me hungry!

  2. November 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm — Reply

    We love to go camping! This sounds like a delicious recipe. We’ll have to try it out on our next camping trip. Thanks for sharing.

  3. November 4, 2013 at 1:04 pm — Reply

    That is such a neat invention! I could only imagine how much time and energy that could save a lot of families. Also, gorgeous pictures!

  4. November 4, 2013 at 1:05 pm — Reply

    First I wanted to say, your pictures are amazing!
    Camping never looked so yummy!

  5. November 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm — Reply

    Wow! This is such a great idea! Great not just for camping but also for long drives where you want to eat homemade meals!

  6. November 4, 2013 at 3:32 pm — Reply

    Oh my gosh! If this bag can do all this, then I’m sold! And I love the design too. Also, beautiful pics!

  7. November 5, 2013 at 5:59 am — Reply

    How insanely neat! I want! I love the pattern and the colors, and I just cannot believe how great this works! This has got to be the most innovative product I have seen in awhile! And that food looks so good!

  8. November 5, 2013 at 6:26 am — Reply

    My mouth is watering! That bag is awesome, holds a lot!

  9. November 5, 2013 at 6:32 am — Reply

    Thanks for sharing this recipe! I am going to make it for my hubby! The wonder bag is super cute too!

  10. November 5, 2013 at 7:13 am — Reply

    That sounds like a wonderful thing to own and I can see the advantages of having one. Thanks for the lovely recipe.

  11. Ashley M
    November 5, 2013 at 7:48 am — Reply

    This is so awesome – the recipe and the bag! I especially love that it was designed for women in 3rd world countries.

  12. Lynn Graham
    November 5, 2013 at 4:10 pm — Reply

    Wow that is inspiring. Want to go camping with my family?!

  13. November 5, 2013 at 5:20 pm — Reply

    Wow, I’ve never seen anything like this! Pretty cool!

  14. November 13, 2013 at 10:06 pm — Reply

    I love, love, love that you made this while CAMPING! So great! Thank you for the awesome post!

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