Thursday, August 11, 2011

Boeuf bourguignon

Here's what I do for boeuf bourguignon. S, my flatmate/psychiatrist will bear witness to the genius level of this dish.

For 4 people, you need:
  • 3 big carrots
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Just under a kilo of diced beef
  • bay leaf + parsley
  • 1 bottle of red wine (any will do)
  • New potatoes (4 biggish ones per person should do)
  1. Put your meat it in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Pour wine over it until meat covered. Put in fridge. [In France you can buy meat for bourguignon, or ask the butcher. I imagine in the UK any kind of stewing meat will be fine].
  2. Leave meat to soak in fridge for about 2 hours.
  3. Finely chop onion and fry until translucent. Put aside.
  4. In one of those big massive stewing pots, cook the meat with a bit of oil, turning all the pieces over until browned on all sides. NB: Make sure you use a draining spoon to move the meat from the bowl to the pot: we don't want the wine in there yet.
  5. When meat is all browned, add the onions, garlic and sliced carrots. Add a ladle of water. Wait for it to 'reduce'. For this whole process, it should be on a medium heat.
  6. When that happens, take it off the heat for just a minute, while you stir in a tablespoon of flour. Put back on heat.
  7. Now add all of the wine that had had your meat soaking in it. Pour it all into the pot, and if there's any left in the bottle, pour all that in too (keep just enough for a small glass for yourself!)
  8. Stir, reduce heat to a low setting, add parsley, more salt and pepper, your bay leaf. Cover, and let simmer for minimum three hours.
  9. In the last half hour of cooking, peel your potatoes, get the water on and boil them. The consistency of the whole meal should be ''melty'': you want your carrots to fall apart on your plate, your potatoes to cut open seriously easily, and your meat to be very tender. You cannot leave this dish to simmer enough, the longer the better.
  • You put in too much flour: why?! I said a tablespoon. Add more water.
  • You put in too much wine: you can't really overwine this, but I get what you mean: add more pepper and a bit of sugar
  • You put in too much water: add a little bit of flour, although even better I discovered: gravy granules. Thickens the sauce really nicely, and adds a bit more seasoning (plus I don't know why this happens, I'm not that knowledgeable in the kitchen, but sometimes when you add flour to cooking dishes it can turn bumpy and taste weirdly floury.) - so yeah, onion (or beef?) gravy granules work great
  • You like: you can add mushrooms *shudder*, and you can also remove the bay leaf after it's been in the pot for an hour. 
 The cost (Ireland):

I bought: a bottle of wine, 4 carrots, 2 bags of new potatoes, 900g of Irish beef = 18 euros something.


  1. I'll try this when I'm back in France in a few weeks. Thanks for the recipe!!

  2. I'm not much of a red meat eater...but I really want to try this once I move into my apartment!