The days are getting shorter, the weather colder… all of this makes you want to go back home to a heart-warming stew like a French boeuf bourguignon.
I love this dish for so many reasons…
- it makes the whole house smell divine and welcoming
- done in the relevant quantity you cook it once and you can enjoy three meals out of it (one when you cook it, another one later in the week –it is even better when you warm it up- and a final one when you don’t fancy cooking and you think wait! I have something amazing in the freezer!
- I put a lot of beautiful vegetables in it (carrots and mushrooms) which makes it even more delicious and balanced!
- served with boiled potatoes, pasta or mash, it makes a great family meal that adults and children alike will love
- stress-free entertaining: it can be a great dinner party main for as you can make it ahead of time
I have tried and tasted many versions of this dish to achieve perfection with this recipe, so trust me this is the ultimate boeuf bourguignon recipe… it is full of little secrets… The list of ingredients features tomato puree and dark chocolate, which you won’t really taste as such in the end but that will give your sauce a beautiful deep brown colour. The flour will make your sauce velvety and by cooking the whole dish in the oven instead of on the stove, you will make the meat even more tender and juicy (and prevents you from stirring it too much – which would break the meat down as it gets really tender).
You could as well marinate the meat in the red wine overnight before cooking it but I usually don’t do it and it works a treat.
Finally, the best meat I have used in the UK so far to cook this dish is Aberdeen Angus diced braising beef.
- • 200 grams smoked lardons
- • 25 grams butter
- • 1 kilogram diced beef
- • 2 tablespoons flour
- • 650 grams carrots, washed peeled and chopped
- • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- • 2 garlic gloves, peeled and chopped
- • 1 branch of thyme
- • 2 bay leaves
- • 1 bottle of red wine (from burgundy originally hence the name of the dish)
- • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- • 2 pieces of dark chocolate
- • 2 tins chopped mushrooms, drained and washed
- • Salt and butter
- Sauté lardons in a large oven-safe casserole, with no additional fat transferring to a plate once cooked. Wipe clean the fat from the casserole.
- Heat the butter in the casserole, and then brown the meat in batches, transferring to a plate once browed.
- Transfer the meat and lardons back into the oven-safe casserole, sprinkle with the flour and mix until all well combined.
- Add the carrots, onion, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cover with the wine, tomato paste and the dark chocolate.
- Put in the oven for at least 3 hours at 150ºC (fan 130ºC) checking every now and then. Add the mushrooms about 15 minutes before the end.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve!
- You could as well cook the onion in a little oil or butter beforehand.