While beef Bourguignon (also called boeuf Bourguignon, beef Burgundy and boeuf à la Bourguignonne) may be considered old school, classic French cuisine never fails to satisfy and melds seamlessly with a cabernet sauvignon.
Beef Bourguignon is a slow-cooked beef stew that’s incredibly flavourful, rich and delicious. The recipe traditionally comprises beef, red wine, mushrooms, bacon and onion.
The full-bodied, richly textured Tokara Reserve Collection Cabernet Sauvignon 2018 is the ideal companion with my rendition of French beef Bourguignon that is well worth the extra time spent in the kitchen.
Beef Bourguignon with Tokara Cabernet Sauvignon 2018
Serves 6 generously
Set aside 3 hours to make this dish.
1 bottle of full-bodied red wine (like the Tokara Cabernet Sauvignon)
1 Tbsp olive oil
60g butter (divided)
1.4kg stewing steak such as topside, chuck, rump pot roast & silverside cut into 5cm pieces (you can ask a butcher to do this)
2 – 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 0.5cm rounds
2 medium onions, peeled, halved and sliced into 0.5 cm thick rounds
2 Tbsp flour
Crushed black pepper (about 1 tsp)
750ml beef broth (I used 3 sachets of concentrated beef stock from Woolies)
1 large celery stalk cut in half
1 bouquet garni (3 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 fresh bay leaves, 4 stems flat-leaf parsley, tied together with a green leek leaf, or string)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and degermed (the middle germ grain removed), and cut in half
16 small white or pickling onions, peeled (or 8 small onions)
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp caster sugar
125g lardons or chopped streaky bacon
200–225g small button mushrooms, cleaned and with their stems trimmed
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Put the wine into a small pot and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes. Take the meat out of the fridge to bring it to room temperature and pat it dry with a paper towel.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or lidded casserole dish (such as cast iron). Add 45g butter to the pan and when it foams add the cubes of meat to brown on all sides. You will need to do this in batches to prevent overcrowding the pan and boiling the meat. Turn the meat over with tongs or a wooden spoon ensuring you get a deep brown colour. Set the meat aside in another dish.
Put the carrots and sliced onions into the pan in which the meat was browned and cook for 5 minutes over very low heat, stirring a few times to prevent darkening.
Sprinkle the flour over the meat and return it to the casserole dish with carrots and onions. Add 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper and cook over medium heat until the raw flour has been cooked out. This will take about 5 minutes.
Pour the beef stock into the pan along with the reduced wine, sliced celery stalks, garlic and bouquet garni. Simmer very gently over low heat for 2 hours. Check it every 30 minutes to give it a stir and skim off any foam that might appear on the surface.
While the meat is cooking, put the small onions into a saucepan with about 1 litre of water and a teaspoon of salt. Bring the liquid to a boil and simmer the onions for 2 minutes if they are very small and 5 minutes if they are bigger. Drain them in a colander.
Melt the remaining 15g of butter in a medium-sized non-stick pan. Add the onions and caster sugar; season with pepper, cover, and cook over gentle heat for 20 minutes stirring the onions every 5 minutes until they are soft and caramelised on the outside. If your onions are bigger, pan fry for about 10 – 15 minutes and then add them to the stew 40 minutes before the 2 hours of cooking is complete. If you are using tiny onions set them aside on a plate.
Wipe the same pan as you cooked the onions and heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the lardons (or bacon) over medium heat until golden brown and the fat has rendered out. Add these to the onions.
Add the mushrooms to the same pan and with the remaining fat, cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season lightly with salt and pepper and then add these to the onions and lardons.
When the stew has been simmering for 2 hours and the meat is perfectly tender, remove any fat from the surface. You can use a fat skimmer. Or drape kitchen towel over the surface and lift the fat off. Remove the meat and carrots (and onions if you added these to the stew) with a slotted spoon and put them in a large, deep serving dish. Add the lardons, onions and mushrooms into the same dish. Strain the meat sauce through a fine-mesh sieve and return to the pot. Bring it to a simmer for about 5 minutes to warm through and reduce slightly. Add seasoning to taste.
Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables and sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with mashed potato.