Jennifer Garner 'Almost Lit the Kitchen on Fire' Making This Ina Garten Dish for Christmas

"That was wild," Jennifer Garner said on the latest episode of her Pretend Cooking Show

Jennifer Garner
Photo: Jennifer Garner/instagram

Forget about deck the halls — Jennifer Garner nearly burnt down the halls this Christmas!

The 13 Going on 30 actress revealed in the latest episode of her beloved Instagram Pretend Cooking Show on Wednesday that she "almost lit the kitchen on fire" this year while she was making Ina Garten's beef bourguignon recipe.

"Ina would never 😬!" Garner, 49, joked.

Her video showed the moment things went wrong — when she tried to burn off the Cognac she had added to the pot. The problem was, she had doubled Garten's recipe to ½ cup of the brandy, and lit it all at once.

The alcohol burst into a ball of fire, with flames nearly hitting the ceiling of Garner's kitchen.

"A thousand pardons," a shocked Garner said, as she watched the flame die down. "Don't double the Cognac."

"Can you believe that just happened?" she joked. "That was wild!"

Apparently, the mishap isn't all that uncommon. In the comments of her video, Garten assured, "I almost set the kitchen on fire every time!"

"Happy New Year!!! Love you," Garten added.

Jennifer Garner

Garner said she had been making Garten's beef bourguignon recipe for every Christmas, after reading it in the Barefoot Contessa star's 2004 book, Barefoot in Paris.

"The thing about traditions, all you do to give them meaning is keep them," the actress wrote in the caption to her video. "I don't know when I started making @inagarten's beef bourguignon (from Barefoot in Paris) for Christmas, it was long enough ago that the smell of this perfect stew makes me feel happy, cozy, and relaxed."

Garten's dish features bacon, beef chunks, carrots, yellow onion, garlic, tomato paste, thyme leaves, frozen small whole onions, and mushrooms — all of which are cooked down on the stovetop and eventually in the oven in dry red wine, unsalted butter, and canned beef broth.

There are some adjustments made by Garner, however. "I don't love onions and I'm the chef so, I don't put all the onions in," Garner said. "As Tabitha Brown would say, 'That's my business!' "

She serves it with or over country bread, writing in the Instagram caption that the end result is a "Yum."

"Maybe this will make sense for your New Year's Eve," Garner wrote. "Wherever this weekend takes you, we wish you a healthy, a joyful, and a peaceful New Year."

(You can get Garten's full recipe on

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Garner began her Pretend Cooking Show series in December 2017, and has since grown it into one of the Internet's most popular food series — racking up millions of views.

The series, filmed by Garner's long-time personal assistant Maureen Grosser, often features guest stars (like Garten) joining in from their own kitchens. Garner's own mother has even stoped by in person on more than one occasion. The laid back nature of each video and Garner's approachable lightheartedness makes it a joy to watch.

"Pretty much it's just, 'Hey, we have a couple hours, what do I want to make for lunch or bake for the kids?' and we go ahead and just shoot it," Garner explained to Good Morning America in November 2020. "We don't think ahead and plan it, it's more random -- other than like, 'Hey Ina, do you want to do this show with me?'"

She even told The Hollywood Reporter in March that the IGTV show has prompted "a slew of industry requests for her to do a real" cooking show, though she's been vocal about keeping things just to Instagram.

"I am a geeky fan of cooking shows, and I don't know enough to have my own cooking show," Garner confessed to Rachael Ray in April 2019. "I like a three and a half minute cooking show that I do with my friend in my kitchen and an iPhone, and it's done."

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