Beef Bourguignon ... Simplified

Beef Bourguignon
Regional French, elevated to gastronomic heights! Let's bring it down and return it to the simple dish that is it.

No frills, no fuss ... really, no effort.

It is a regional (read: peasant) dish and really does not want all the flounce, pomp and parade ... it wants to cook in a simple cauldron over an open fire, eaten and enjoyed by regular folks.

  • First, Beef, Wine, Garlic & Bay.
  • Later, onion, mushroom and bacon.
  • For serving, roots.
So, a couple of days before you want to eat, get the meat marinating in the wine.

Beef Bourguignon

Meat? You want beef that needs some cooking, but the wine will make it extra tender. I went with braising steak. Wine? French Burgundy ... this is, afterall Beef Burgundy. Just cover the meat in wine.

Add some minced garlic, a couple of bay leaves, cover and settle in the fridge for at least a day.

Total effort: dice beef and cover with wine ... practically nil.

The day before you want to eat, grab an ovenproof dish and toss in some chopped bacon and mushrooms, pour over the meat and wine, and top up with beef stock. Add a little ground black pepper.

Pop it into the oven with the lid on at 150C (300F) for 3 hours and turn the heat off.

At this point, drain some pickled onions and add into the Bourguignon. These are already "cooked", so don't want much more cooking else they will become soggy, but do need to warm through.

Total effort: chop bacon, pour in the meat and top up with stock ... later, add onions ... practically nil.

After three hours, turn the heat off and leave it - the flavours will develop overnight.

You could, of course, simply eat it now ... so prepare your veg, take the lid off the Bourguignon and let it reduce for half an hour, or so.

Back from a hard day's work or a good day's activity and you're hungry!

Turn the oven on to 200C, remove the lid and let the Bourguignon warm through and reduce.

Peel and slice some roots - carrots and parsnips are good - and place them in the oven in a roasting tray with some goose fat for an hour, along with the Bourguignon.

Total effort: switching an oven on, peeling and chopping some veggies ... practically nil.

Of course, if you want something different, perhaps mashed sweet potato, white potato, celeriac, perhaps cubed swede, perhaps sliced carrots, whatever, cube, slice or dice and toss into the Bourguigon, or boil on the stove and mash.

Ready to eat?

Serve out several generous spoons of the Bourguignon into a bowl and place the roasted roots alongside.

Leftovers ... especially gravy, simply pad out with cubed veggies ...

... here, squash and swede, garnished with some parsley and chilli!