Boeuf à la Bourguignone

Serves: to serve 6

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 3 Hours 30 Minutes

Ready In: 4 hrs


3½ lb - sinewy beef, chuck, shoulder or shin

8 oz - lardons (or chopped streaky bacon)

4 oz - butter

10 - baby onions (about 1" across)**

4 tablespoons - plain flour (all purpose flour)

3 cups - red wine

3 cups - beef stock

8 oz - button mushrooms

1 - bouquet garni (parsley, thyme and bay leaf)

  - salt and pepper


  1. Cut the meat into large cubes of about 1½" (4cm) across. Already, it should be obvious to you that the miserable pea-size cubes of meat used by pubs and cheap restaurants have no place in this recipe! When cooked in very large chunks, due to the slow cooking process, the meat will be amazingly tender and will simply fall apart under your knife. Those apologies for beef that you get in most restaurants are too small to stand a long slow cook, so are either hard as bullets or haven't had time to absorb all the excellent flavours of the wine and stock. (OK - rant over!)
  2. Melt the butter in a large casserole. Peel the onions and place them (whole) in the butter along with the lardons (chopped bacon). Stir continuously until the bacon and onions are golden all over, remove them from the casserole and put to one side.
  3. In the same casserole, turn up the heat and add the chunks of meat, turn them so that each side is sealed, then sprinkle with flour and continue to turn until the meat is 'scorched'. If necessary, heat the beef stock, then add it to the casserole.
  4. Add back the onions and lardons, pour in the wine and add the bouquet garni. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, stir, then cover and leave to cook at a slow simmer for 3 hours. Stir in the button mushrooms (you can slice them if you prefer) and continue to cook gently for a further 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the bouquet garni and pour the Boeuf à la Bourguignone into a serving dish. The sauce should be firm but not thick. If it needs loosening a little, add a few drops of hot water and stir well. Serve with Creamed Potatoes.
  6. **If you can't get small "pickling" onions, use shallots instead.