4 Hour Beef Bourguignon
Beef bourguignon is one of our all time family favourites. The beauty of this dish is that the flavour comes from the slow cook – which you can do on a very low heat in the oven, or in a slow cooker. Its almost impossible not to make this delicious.
If you have the time, it tastes EVEN better the next day. I tend to make large cauldrons full of this, as it takes only a small amount of extra time to make a larger quantity – and freeze portions for future nights. Though I have to get it in the freezer quick before my greedy family tries to sneak the leftovers.
This would make generous portion for 4. Scale up as necessary:
- 250g finely chopped red onion (approx 2 large onions)
- 200g finely chopped carrots (approx 3 medium carrots)
- 200g diced bacon with most of the fat cut off
- 1kg cubed beef steak
- Clove garlic finely chopped (I use easy garlic)
- Plain flour for thickening (1 tablespoon)
- A large dash of worcester sauce (1 tablespoon)
- 1 litre beef stock
- A large glass of wine
- 1 tablespoon of olive or vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Cook at 150C for 4 hours.
Start by trimming the main rind of fat from the bacon, and cut into small pieces.
Fry on a very low heat. There will still be some fat in the bacon, so only add a very tiny amount of oil if the bacon starts to stick. This will take a while to crisp up leaving you to chop the vegetables while it cooks.
When crispy, remove from the pan, but don’t clean. You can use this same pan to brown the beef.
Soften the finely chopped onions in a large casserole dish, with a dash of oil.
Once soft, add the chopped carrots to the pan, and continue to soften on a low heat. (Excuse the carrot shape, I was multi tasking shots for instagram.)
While the vegetables are softening, you can start to brown the meat. The beef needs to be seared on a higher heat with a few drops of oil in small batches. You don’t want to cook the meat, just seal the edges and get some colour in the meat as it really adds flavour.
Once the meat is browned, add it to the vegetables.
Stir in a handful of flour, coating the dry mixture. This will thicken when the liquid is added stopping the gravy from being too runny, but don’t add too much, or it will be very thick and gloopy. The flour should coat the mix, but no more. If in doubt add less.
Splash a glass of red wine to the hot pan to deglaze. The liquid added to the hot pan releases all the caramelised “bits” that stick to the pan. stir in these juices, and place the casserole in the oven at 150 C
Cook Low and Slow
Leave in the oven on a low heat for AT LEAST 4 hours, though the longer the better. The meat will be crumbling – the sauce should be rich and thick. If its not, remove the lid for the last half hour, or drain the meat, and thicken the gravy by reducing over the hob, before returning the meat to the pan. Don’t be tempted to reduce the whole thing with the meat still in, or the meat will deteriorate to strings of meat.
Ideally make the beef bourguignon the day before. I don’t know why, but somehow the flavours develop and evolve even more when left for a day. Season to taste before your serve.
Serve the beef bourguignon with buttery mash or boiled potatoes.
Beef bourguignon needs some green veg – simple peas, broccoli or green beans, and obviously a decent glass of red wine to wash it down.