A hearty dish for dinner, boeuf bourguignon is a traditional beef stew from Burgundy made with Charolais beef and Burgundy red wine. Make it yourself with this simple recipe
Originally a celebratory dish, boeuf bourguignon gradually entered the family repertoire in Burgundy before spreading to the rest of France and beyond. Authentic boeuf bourguignon is built around two ingredients for which this region is famed: Charolais beef and Burgundy wine.
Read more: Burgundy food and wine
Protected by an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée label that guarantees the breed and origin of the meat, Charolais is remarkable for its tenderness and notes of hazelnut, melted butter and herbs, according to one farmer who raises this white cattle. The less tender cuts are also the most flavoursome, making them perfect for this stew: ideally, there should be a mix of fatty and lean meat, such as rump steak and silverside or top leg.
Any decent red wine works well, but it’s hard to match the finesse of a pinot noir from Burgundy. Still, don’t let a lack of Charolais beef or red Burgundy stop you: this adaptable dish is meant to be shared without pretension; just right for an informal gathering.
• 1kg/21/4lb stewing beef, cut into 5cm/2in chunks
• 1 bottle of red wine, preferably pinot noir from Burgundy
• 3 medium carrots
• 1 celery stalk
• 1 onion
• 1tbsp olive oil
• 2 sprigs thyme
• Sea salt and ground pepper
• 1tbsp flour
1. The day before, pour the wine over the beef chunks in a large bowl, cover and leave overnight in the refrigerator.
2. Heat the oven to 160°C/320°F/ gas mark
3. Drain the beef, setting aside the wine. Peel the carrots. Cut the carrots and celery in half lengthways and then slice into 1cm-thick pieces. Peel the onion and cut into six wedges.
3. In an enamelled cast-iron pot, heat the oil on medium-high. Add the meat and let it brown, without touching it – about five minutes. Turn the pieces over and wait another five minutes for them to brown on this side. Add the vegetables, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir for one minute, then add the flour and stir again. Add the wine and bring to a boil.
4. Cover the pot and simmer in the oven for three hours, or until the meat can be cut with a spoon. If you want to be chic, you can strain the sauce and reduce it until slightly thickened, discarding the vegetables, but there is nothing wrong in serving the stew as it is, with boiled potatoes.
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