Boeuf Bourguignon

9:47 pm on 15 June 2009

This Burgundy style beef is probably the most famous of all French casserole/ragout style dishes. I like to use gravy beef or blade steak as the long slow cooking makes the gelatinous meat very succulent. Do ensure you use a good red wine, freshly opened for cooking.  (You can always sip the other half of the bottle while you’re preparing the meal.)

The cooking time is long and slow … perfect for winter cookery. Serve the Boeuf Bourguignon with a rice pilaf, mashed potato or baked whole potatoes in their jackets. Finish the meal with a tossed green leafy salad.

(Serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg stewing steak (blade steak or gravy beef), cut into 3cm cubes
  • 3 - 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 60g butter
  • 250g bacon, cut into thick lardons
  • 3 - 4 medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste with salt
  • 1/2 bottle red Burgundy or Pinot Noir
  • 375mls very good strong beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 18 pickling onions, peeled
  • 150g button mushrooms
  • oarsley to garnish, finely chopped

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Dust the meat cubes with flour very lightly. Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a heavy based casserole dish (I use my faithful 24cm Le Creuset casserole) and add the lardons of bacon. Fry these until they are crisp, then remove and keep aside. Fry the meat in 2-3 batches until it reaches a rich nutty brown. Add the chopped shallots and garlic to the pan, fry for about two minutes, stirring constantly then return all the meat to the dish.

Add the wine, stock, tomato paste, bouquet garni, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover the dish with the lid and place in the pre-heated oven so the dish can simmer very gently for about 1 ¾ hours. While the meat is cooking, peel and toss the pickling onions in butter in a small frying pan, to brown nicely. Add the bacon and pickling onions to the casserole, replace the lid and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes. Finally, brown the mushrooms in a little more butter in the frying pan, and add for the final 10 minutes of cooking time.

Take the casserole dish from the oven, remove all the meat and garnishes to a large hot serving platter. Discard the bouquet garni. Boil the liquid down so the sauce becomes concentrated and thickens a little. Spoon the sauce over the meat, and garnish with finely chopped parsley.

Suggested wines to complement this recipe

Red Bordeaux Style
Matakana Estate Hawkes Bay Merlot, Cabernet Franc 2007
Craggy Range Sophia 2007

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