Ingredients

  • 1.6kg braising steak, cut into large chunks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Small bunch of thyme
  • 2 bottles of red wine at a bargain price
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large or 6 normal carrots, cut into large chunks
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 3 Tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree

To serve

  • Small knob Butter
  • 300g bacon lardons
  • 500g small shallots or pearl onions, peeled
  • 400g mushrooms, halved
  • Parsley chopped

Method

  • STEP 1Place a 1.6kg braising steak in a large bowl. Add 3 bay leaves, some thyme, 2 bottles red wine, and some water. Cover and place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • STEP 2The oven should be heated to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  • STEP 3Use a strainer to strain the marinated meat.
  • STEP 4In a large oil frying pan heat 1 tbsp oil. Once the meat is browned, transfer to a plate. Once all the meat has been browned, add a small amount of wine to the empty frying pan. Bubble the pan to release any caramelized bits.
  • STEP 5In a large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Once the oil has heated, fry 3 or 6 large carrots. Mix 3 tbsp plain flour in a large saucepan. After 1 minute, add 1 tbsp tomato purée.
  • STEP 6Add the beef, any juices, the wine from your frying pan, and the rest of wine and herbs. Bring to a boil. Give it a stir and then cover.
  • STEP 7Bake for 2 hours until the meat is tender. Cool. Can freeze up to 3 months.
  • STEP 8Serve immediately. If frozen, place in the refrigerator overnight.
  • STEP 9In the meantime, heat a little butter in a pan. Add 300g bacon lardons along with 500g peeled pearl onion or small shallots. Let the bacon crisp up and the onions soften in the pan for 10 minutes.
  • STEP 10Stir in 400g of halved mushrooms. Fry for 5 minutes more. Then, stir everything into the stew. Heat for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

What is beef bourguignon?

Slow-cooked beef in red wine sauce with small onions, button mushrooms, and bacon lardons is a French classic dish. It is named after the Burgundy region of France, where it was first made. The meat is cooked until it falls apart and then the wine-rich gravy thickens to coat the meat. This slow-cooked dish is comforting and delicious. It can be used as a mash potato, soft pasta, or as a topping for some crusty bread to soak up the gravy.

What cut of beef is the best?

The classic cut of meat used in bourguignon is the braising steak. It is often sold as a braising or stewing meat. However, it can be from any part of the animal. All the hardworking muscles such as shin, blade, and chuck require a slow and low approach to breaking down the tough muscle fibres. The meat has good marbling and requires a lot of cooking to tenderize. The fat will melt into the sauce, creating a rich, flavourful gravy. This keeps the meat tender, so you can continue to basting it as it melts. Pre-diced braising meat is available, but it’s usually cut into small pieces. You can also buy steaks or a whole joint of braising beef, which will create a rich, flavourful gravy.

Does chuck beef/braising steak need to be fatty?

To keep the meat moist during cooking, it needs to be lubricated with fat. However, you can remove larger, more difficult pieces of fat from the surface before cooking and any remaining sinew so that it doesn’t get absorbed.

How to make beef bourguignon

Do you allow the beef to marinade overnight in order to preserve its flavor?

Marinating beef in red wine has two benefits. The wine’s acid starts to break down proteins, which allows more flavours to penetrate the beef. It also flavours the wine with beefy flavours. This gives the wine more time to flavour the wine, giving the herbs and meat more time to infuse. This creates a richer and more flavorful bourguignon. It is not necessary, and it can be done if you have the time. However, slow cooking and the oven do a lot more of the work of melding flavors.

Is slow stewing important? Is it more tender?

Slow cooking is an essential step in bourguignon. It tenderizes the meat and reduces alcohol to make a delicious gravy. Slow cooking melts the fat layer in the beef, enriching the sauce.

Why is flour important?

The bourguignon is made with a lot of liquid, so it is important to dust the beef in flour before you seared it. A minimum of one bottle of red wine is recommended, along with extra beef stock to coat the meat. The flour thickens and covers the meat by thickening the sauce. If the meat has been marinated before cooking, it can be used to dust the meat with the flour.

Should I fry everything before slow cooking?

The caramelized sugars give the sauce a deeper, richer flavour. The outside of the meat can be browned before braising. You don’t have to cook it all the way. The process of caramelizing the meat is best done in batches. If you overcook the meat, it will result in more juice in your pan. This will prevent the meat from browning.

What happens if the sauce becomes too thick or too thin after 2 hours of stewing?

If you have a thick sauce:

  • To the saucepan, add a splash of beef stock or water. Keep the pan simmering on the stove until the consistency is achieved.
  • You should check your bourguignon halfway through the cooking process to ensure that the liquid is not evaporated. This will prevent dryness.
  • If your lid is not sealed well, you can cover the dish with foil to prevent any evaporation.

If you have too much sauce:

  • A ‘beurre mae’ is a thick paste made of equal amounts of plain flour and softened butter. You’ll only need 2-3 teaspoons of each. Make a paste with a fork in a small bowl. Then, add the gravy to it in small knobs over low heat. The sauce will thicken and become richer, giving rise to a glossy, shiny gravy. This classic French method is used to thicken gravies, soups and sauces.
  • You don’t need to add any fat to the dish. Instead, combine cornflour and a little coldwater to form a thin paste. Then, add this to the sauce sparingly. The sauce will thicken quickly when heated, so add only a small amount at a time and let it cook for a few more minutes before adding to the dish.

Why not add the onions and mushrooms to the beef?

The long cooking time could cause the mushrooms and onions to overcook, and then become mushy before they cook down to tenderize the meat.

Is it possible to overcook beef Bourguignon?

This dish is sturdy and can be cooked for hours. However, it is possible to overcook it depending on how large the pieces are. All the fat from the meat will evaporate, making it very dry. After two hours, check that the meat is still tender. You can continue cooking the meat until that point but it won’t enhance its flavour or texture if it is cooked for longer.

What wine is best to use for beef bourguignon

Traditional chefs believe that you can taste the quality wine in your final dish. They only use high-quality wine to accompany the food. This recipe can be used with any red wine, but it is best to stick to the classics and use French wines. This dish would be best served with a rich, full-bodied red wine made from pinot Noir grapes.

What are the ingredients of beef bourguignon?
Mashed potatoes are a classic side dish to beef bourguignon. However, a piece of crusty bread is a nice lighter option. If you’re looking for something different, try butterbean mash, celeriac or carrot and swede mashes.

Soft polenta can be served with it. This is made by mixing fine polenta/cornmeal in vegetable or chicken broth and beating until soft.

Is it stable when frozen?

Beef bourguignon makes a great freezer filler. It reheats well and, like many slow-cooked casseroles and stews. Many people think that reheating these dishes will improve the flavor as the ingredients have had time to meld and marinate.