Beef Bourguignon. This French classic dish is rich, unctuous and really simple to do. I am still trying to understand the different cuts of French beef, but luckily it is clearly labelled 'bourguignon'! It is a bit different from normal stewing or braising steak as it has a lot more connective tissue left on the meat. This tends to break down in the cooking to make a tastier sauce and if you cool and refrigerate to serve the next day you can skim off any fat which comes to the surface for a healthier dish too.
Using a large frying pan brown the lardons and shallots together for a few minutes, add garlic and then transfer to a lidded casserole dish with a slotted spoon.
Fry the meat in three batches in the remaining fat so that there is plenty of space between each piece.Use tongs to turn so that the meat is evenly browned and then place with the shallots and lardons. This improves the texture of the finished dish.
In the remaining juices tip in some plain flour and cook for a minute.
Stir in the red wine and beef stock. A stock cube is fine but I prefer to use Bovril dissolved in boiling water.
When the sauce is bubbling season to taste and add the ingredients along with a bouquet garni.
Cover with a lid and cook at 170 degrees C for 2 hours or in the slow cooker on high for about 8 hours. It may seem that there is not enough liquid but as the meat and shallots cook it will form a delicious gravy. If the lid of your dish is not tight you may need to add a little more stock. Sprinkle on some chopped parsley before serving and don't forget to remove the bouquet garni.
Of course, if you want to make this dish go further and use less meat, you could add mushrooms, carrots or any other vegetables.
This dish also freezes well in the rare event you have some leftover!
What's your favourite slow cooked beef dish?
- 12 shallots or small onions
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1.25 kg stewing beef cubed
- 300 g smoked lardons
- 200 ml hot beef stock
- 150 ml red wine
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1 bouquet garni or 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- butter/oil for frying
- Fry the shallots and lardons in their own fat until browned then add the garlic for one minute before transferring to a large casserole dish.
- Fry the meat in 3 batches, adding a little oil and butter if necessary, and place with the shallots.
- Add a little butter to the pan and tip in the flour, stirring for 1 minute before adding the stock and wine.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer and pour over the ingredients along with the bouquet garni.
- Put the lid on and cook in the oven at 170 degrees C for 2 hours.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes.