Thursday, October 1, 2009

Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon
Home Cooking

This was one of those spur-of-the-moment midnight food cravings that actually manifested into a dish. The original recipe is from Food Safari and the video for it is so delectable (especially on an empty stomach at1am) that we planned on cooking it the very next day.

What sold me was the opening shots where the French chef pulls out a massive slab of high grade Wagyu and cuts it into thick, juicy chunks. Is it weird for me to find raw meat appealing? I guess the steak footage unveiled my inner beast and set the scene for the rest of the recipe, which to me, just seemed like the best thing ever.

Beef bourguignon: I can't spell it and I can't pronounce it. This is a classic French dish of beef stewed in red wine. Food Safari taught us that the stew is commonly thickened with flour but in this recipe, pureed carrots are used to thicken and provide sweetness. A small detail, perhaps, but it made the dish sound that bit more awesome.

I'm not sure how many people the original recipe is intended to serve but the batch we made up is probably fit for 6ish.

(or less, if you got folks who are keen on multiple serves. Or grazers)

We generally stuck to the recipe but were a bit flexible on quantities. If you want the original version, click here. Otherwise, read below for the amounts/method we used.

Beef Bourguignon
Serves 6

  • 1 kg beef you can use a cheaper cut of braising beef - we didn't get Wagyu like the French guy cos well... 1kg of wagyu is quite the expensive)
  • 400g smoked bacon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 1 leek, halved and sliced (the video used baby leek but we used the white of an adult leek)
  • 2 white onions, diced
  • 2 small red onions, cut into 6th (this was an attempt to substitute eshallots)
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1/2 litre - 750ml red wine, brought to the boil and simmered to remove alcohol and acidity
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 200g button mushrooms
  • Farmhouse cob loaf to serve
For the carrot puree
  • 5 carrots, peeled and chopped
For the mashed potatoes
  • 6 large potatoes, skin on
  • 100g butter
  • 200ml milk

1. Cut the beef into large chunks and season with salt and pepper.2. Heat the oil in a pan over med-heat. Seal the beef in batches until golden brown. Then, drain and set aside. Reserve the oil.3. Using this oil, cook all the vegetables (except mushroom) for 5-8min.
4. Place the meat in a large casserole dish (we used an electric casserole cooker), top with vegetables.5. Add bay leaves and bacon. Stir to combine.
5. Pour the red wine over the top, season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid.
6. Bring to the boil and reduce the head to very low. Cook for 40min.

Meanwhile, prepare the carrot puree...

7. Boil or steam the carrots until very soft and pass through a sieve or blend to a puree. Set aside until needed.
Make your mashed potatoes...

8. Boil the potatoes until soft throughout and rub the skin off. Pass through a sieve and into a saucepan to create a smooth mash.
9. Heat the saucepan on low for a moment, whilst stirring, to evaporate some of the water from the potato.
10. Warm the milk and add this to the potato, stirring it in smoothly.
11. Add the butter and stir through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until needed.
Just before serving...

12. Add the carrot puree and mushrooms. Stir through and cook for a further 10min. Sprinkle with 1/2 the chopped parsley.13. Ladle the stew onto a bed of mashed potatoes. Garnish with the remainder of the parsley. Serve with some warm crusty bread.

Overall, this dish was pretty good. Great for winter, since it's quite robust with the buttery mash and rich, beefy stew. Everything turned out lovely but on the down, it wasn't QUITE as amazing as we expected.

This could be put down to the fact that neither of us have tasted bourguignon before so we don't know what's 'authentic' or 'accurate'. Having cooked this dish for the first time, there are a few alterations that we suggest for next time.

Close-up shot

The flavor was a bit too strong in the red wine department so we're thinking that by replacing a portion of the red with beef stock might enrichen the taste. Perhaps a bit of sugar too to liven things up.

The carrot puree worked great for thickening the stew. This is a genius idea that can be used for other dishes too.

I thought the stew worked amazingly well with the mashed potato. It gives it a bit of body and sustenance whilst toning down the red wine taste with its buttery goodness. In my opinion, the two work together much better than having the stew on its own.


  1. I like the idea of pureed carrots. I bet the sauce had a great body to it. Yum!

  2. very smart idea of using carrots instead of flour to thicken the sauce!
    btw, i enjoy watching food safari toO!