Boeuf Bourguignon is a French classic originating in the French region of Burgundy. It is therefore not altogether surprising that is traditionally made using a red Burgundy. This is my take on the dish, using local/home-grown ingredients. This dish needs very slow cooking at a low temperature. I tend to cook mine it two stages – I cook it in the morning for 3 hours at 140C fan , I then leave it to sit in the oven until the evening when I cook it for a second time for 1 ½ hours at 160C fan, as I find this helps the flavours to mature.
As with all slow cooking, meat becomes beautifully tender and falls apart. One word of advice when making this dish – don’t cut your vegetables too small as they can fall apart, and half the beauty of a meal like this is finding a lovely piece of mushroom or carrot. My tendency is to serve it in a large bowl so that none of the sauce falls off a plate.
Ingredients: (serves 6)
- 1 – 1.25kg stewing beef (gristle and excess fat removed cut into manageable chunks)
- 750ml red wine (I used a local wine called Coteaux du Quercy but any full-bodied, fruity red wine will do)
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large sprig of thyme
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 2 handfuls plain flour
- 150g lardons
- 1 red onion (thickly sliced)
- 2 garlic cloves ( minced)
- 600ml beef stock
- 6-8 carrots (cut into large chunks)
- 6-8 small onions (cut in half)
- 6 mushrooms (cut into large chunks)
1. Put the beef, wine, bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns into a large bowl and leave to marinate for as long as possible – preferably overnight.
2. Once marinated, remove the beef from the red wine marinade (keep the marinade as you will need it later) and place it in a bowl with the flour and some seasoning. Make sure it is well coated.
3. Heat some oil in a large casserole dish, brown off the beef in batches.
4. Remove the beef from the casserole dish and set to one side whilst you cook the red onion and lardons for 4-5 minutes. Once cooked, add the beef and stir well.
5. Add the marinade, stock, garlic, onions, and carrots and cook on a low heat for 5-10 minutes.
6. Cover the casserole dish and place in the oven at 140C fan for 3 hours.
7. After 3 hours add the mushrooms, stir well and if possible let it sit for a while before cooking for a further 1 ½ hours at the higher temperature of 160C fan.
8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving with French bread or a jacket potato and the vegetables of your choice.