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Beef Bourguignon

I know this is one of the most famous casseroles in the world and every chef has their own version. Everyone has an opinion on how it should be made and French people probably won't like mine because it's not how their mum made it :) But I can tell you one thing, it is pretty damn good! It's such a filling and rich dish and makes you feel all warm inside. I don't go out and by a Burgundy wine, I just go for a wine that I would happily drink and put that in. But if you want to be true to the dish you should definitely go for the proper wine :)

This is such a good dish to make on a lazy Sunday when you don't really want to do too much in the kitchen. You throw everything together and just forget about it for a few hours. When you remember, you just go and stir it a little bit and when you are ready to eat you make your side dish and my favourites are buttery mashed potatoes or plain rice. Nice and simple to make but very complex flavours.

1 kg stewing beef

oil for frying

1 large onion

3 cloves of garlic

4-5 slices of smoked streaky bacon

1 heaped tablespoon chopped Thyme

2 tablespoons tomato puree

2 tablespoons plain flour

salt and pepper

1 bottle red wine

250-500 ml beef stock

2 bay leaves

2 carrots

200 gr chestnut mushrooms

Start by heating oil in a large saucepan and brown the meat. Don’t put all the meat in at the same time, 2-3 batches is probably best. Season with salt and pepper. It is very important to brown the meat well; this is where the flavor happens. Remove the meat from the pan.

Roughly chop the onion and grate or crush the garlic. Add a little bit of oil to the pot if you need to and add the chopped bacon and cook for 2-3 minutes until it starts to soften and get a bit of color, no need to brown to much.

Add the tomato puree and flour and stir for a minute or two. Add the browned meat, Thyme and bay leaves. Add the wine and stock so it covers the meat and bring to the boil. Put this into a preheated 140° oven with the lid on for 2 hours. Stir the pan half way through and put it back in.

An hour before serving put the roughly chopped mushrooms and carrots into the pan and put it back in the oven for at least another hour. For best results cook for around 3 hours.

Remove from the oven, season to taste and serve with something like rice or mashed potatoes and if you fancy a bit of green on the side you can go for some steamed broccoli and beans.

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