Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

Boeuf Bourguignon Recipe

This traditional French recipe has several variations, but all feature meltingly tender beef steak braised in a rich, savoury red-wine sauce. Serve with lots of creamy mashed potato, crusty bread (or any other good sauce sopper-upper!).  Serves 4-6.

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4 x 440g Greendale Beef Braising Steak
4 tbsp Olive Oil
300g Greendale Smoked Streaky Bacon
1 Red Onion, peeled and diced finely
3 cloves Garlic, peeled
75ml Red Wine (this equates to one standard-sized bottle)
2 tbsp Tomato Purée
1 Beef Stock Cube
3 Bay Leaves
Small bunch fresh Thyme, leaves only
30g Unsalted Butter
24 Pearl Onions (if unavailable, 12 small shallots (peeled and halved) can be used)
300g Chestnut Mushrooms, wiped and cut into quarters
2 tbsp Cornflour
30ml fridge-cold Water
Sea salt and freshly ground Black Pepper, to taste
A few sprigs fresh Parsley, leaves only (to garnish)


Cut the braising steaks into evenly-sized chunky pieces (about 5cm each) and season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Place a large, shallow pan over a medium-high heat and add the olive oil; as soon as the oil is hot, place one-third of the beef chunks in the pan and cook, turning regularly, until browned on all sides. Transfer the cooked beef to a large, flame-proof casserole dish, for which you have a lid, then add a little more oil to the frying pan (if needed) and use it to cook the remaining two batches of beef one at a time. Preheat the oven to 170°C (Gas Mark 3).

Next, put the pan you used to fry the beef back on the heat and add the bacon pieces, frying them for a couple of minutes until crisp. Scatter the cooked bacon over the beef in the casserole dish, then return the frying pan to the heat – add a little more oil if you think it needs it – and add the diced red onion. Turn the heat down low and cook the onion until soft and translucent (5-10 minutes), then crush the garlic cloves into the pan and cook for a minute more, stirring gently.

Next, use a spatula to scrape all the cooked onion and garlic into the casserole dish containing the beef and bacon (keep the frying pan handy, you’ll need it again). Pour the wine into the dish and stir in the tomato purée and 150ml water, then crumble in the stock cube and add the thyme and bay leaves. Put the casserole dish on the hob, over a medium-high flame, and bring it up to a simmer. Once bubbling, stir well then put the lid on the dish and transfer it to the hot oven. Cook for 1 ½ hours, or until the beef is almost tender.

While the beef is cooking, you can get the pearl onions (or shallots) ready; first, fill and boil your kettle, then put the onions in a heat-proof bowl. Pour over enough just-boiled water to cover the onions, then leave them for at least five minutes before draining. When the onions are cool enough to handle safely, use a small, sharp knife to cut away the root from each one, then carefully peel off the skins without breaking the onions apart. Just before the beef comes to the end of its initial cooking time, take the frying pan you used earlier and place it over a medium heat. Add half of the butter, let it melt, then carefully tip the peeled baby onions into the pan and fry them for about five minutes, or until golden all over. Tip the onions on to a large plate, then put the pan back on the heat, melt the remaining butter and add the prepared mushrooms. Turn the heat up a little and cook them for 3-4 minutes, turning regularly, until nicely coloured all over. Put the cooked mushrooms on the plate with the onions.

Next, put the cornflour in a small bowl or jug and stir in the 30ml of cold water until you have a smooth paste. Take the casserole dish out of the oven and remove the lid, then stir in the cornflour mixture, together with the baby onions and the mushrooms. Put the lid back on and return the dish to the oven for another 45 minutes, until the beef is completely tender and the sauce has thickened nicely. To serve, chop the parsley leaves and sprinkle them over the casserole, then dish up with creamy mashed potato or some crusty bread.

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