Boeuf Bourguignon is a mouth-wateringly delicious classic French dish. Slow cooked tender beef melts into a flavourful red wine sauce accented with Provencal herbs making it the ultimate in elegant comfort food. However while there is no getting away from the fact it needs to cook for a long time, the actual hands on work doesn’t need to take longer than half an hour if you make my version of this wonderful dish. You won’t need a long, complicated, expensive list of ingredients either.
Beef Bourguignon tastes even better the next day, so consider making it a day ahead, cooling it and storing it covered in the fridge. Gently reheat in a saucepan on the stove about a half hour before serving, stirring frequently, loosening the sauce with a bit of extra wine or stock if necessary.
Tips for Making Boeuf Bourguignon the Easy Way
Buy good quality chuck steak, stewing steak or braising steak, pasture raised or organic if possible. Ask your butcher to cut the meat in cubes roughly an inch square for you so that it’s ready to go.
Choose a wine that tastes good to cook with. It doesn’t have to be expensive but it should be a wine you would enjoy drinking with a good, full bodied flavour.
Finely chop the onion, cut up the mushrooms and the carrots before you start. You can do this ahead of time and keep them covered in the fridge if you like. Remove them from the fridge – along with the meat – half an hour before you start cooking.
Get all the ingredients together first. Remember to preheat the oven.
Keep it simple. Serve the Beef Bourguignon with mashed potatoes, rice or couscous and a green vegetable.
Just between you and me, this is a non-traditional recipe. I’m not sure any of the Michelin starred chefs out there would approve of my use of Worcestershire sauce to start with. Having said that, I’ve eaten Beef Bourguignon in some excellent restaurants and home kitchens in France many times and I can say with my hand on my heart that my version tastes absolutely as good as any I have eaten there. So for a taste of France in your kitchen without stress or bother, try my Beef Bourguignon the Easy Way.
- 2 to 3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil (I generally use mild olive oil)
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1½ pounds of beef chuck, stewing or braising steak, cut into chunks roughly an inch square
- 2 tablespoons flour
- a pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup mushrooms, cut in quarters or sliced depending on their size
- 3 to 4 carrots, peeled and cut in batons about 3 inches long
- 1 cup good red wine
- 1 cup of beef stock
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree or tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- You may need: 1 tablespoon corn flour mixed with 2 tablespoons water or a bit more wine or beef stock
- You need a large pan or casserole with a lid that goes from stove top to oven.
- Preheat the oven to 325°F or 170°C (160°C for fan ovens).
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat.
- Sauté the onion until it begins to become translucent, but do not let it brown.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for a minute or so.
- Mix the flour, salt and pepper together and put it in a bag.
- Add the beef cubes, working in batches if necessary, shaking to coat the cubes with the flour mixture.
- Add the flour coated beef cubes to the onion, adding a bit more oil if necessary.
- Brown the meat, stirring constantly, for two or three minutes.
- Stir in the beef stock and the red wine.
- Add the tomato puree or paste and herbs and stir together thoroughly.
- Add the carrots and stir through.
- Place the casserole in the oven and cook for an hour and a half, stirring every half hour. Turn the heat back a bit if the sauce begins to thicken too quickly.
- Remove the casserole from the oven.
- Depending on the water content of your vegetables and the meat you have used, the sauce may need adjusting at this point. If the sauce is too thick you can add a bit more stock or red wine and stir through to loosen it. Should it be too runny, stir one tablespoon of corn flour in two tablespoons of water to make a runny paste and stir it through the sauce. Either way, return the casserole to the oven and cook for about five to ten minutes just to heat everything through.
- Remove the casserole from the oven again, taste the sauce for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Leave the lid on the casserole and set it aside on a heat proof surface. Let the Boeuf Bourguignon rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Serve over rice, mashed potatoes or couscous.