Approx cost: €7
Approx calories (per serving):
Approx preparation time: 3 hours
I wanted to make this a while ago but realised once I’d bought the meat that I didn’t actually have a functioning oven… sigh. Oh well, I do now, so here we go. Boeuf Bourguignon was originally a French peasant food, which has risen greatly in popularity in recent times, and I can see why. You don’t get much more luxurious than good chunks of tender beef cooked almost purely in wine, fresh, colourful vegetables, a beautiful aroma of thyme and bayleaf, served up with some delicious accompaniment of your choice. It’s as beautiful as it is simple, as it is delicious. Perfect for a lazy sunday or a dinner party when you want to give the impression that you’ve been doing incredible, gourmet things to this meat when actually it’s all been pretty much happening by itself!
Some people like to add mushrooms – I’m one of those people, but on this occasion I had no mushrooms on hand. If you do then simply add them in about half-way through the cooking time for best results. Additionally there are some who specify that you absolutely must use a Burgundy. If you can get your hands on a good Burgundy then by all means use that, but as long as you’re using a red wine which is decently drinkable then your results will be pleasing (Ok, ok, I know – don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t want to drink, and all that jazz, but it’s supposed to be a roughly “Five Euro” budget here people!). Furthermore, you’ll find my method of creating the sauce maybe… a little… odd. I like the sauce a little more thick and a little less boozey than others so bear with me on that, ok? Great! Let me know what you think, and have a good Thursday 🙂
– ~700g – 1 kg lean Braising Steak
– 1 x 75cl Red Wine, preferably Burgundy
– 3 sticks Celery
– 3 Carrots
– 2 Onions
– 5 cloves Garlic
– A few sprigs of fresh Thyme
– 1 Bay-leaf
– 2 tbsps Plain Flour
– 30g Butter
– 2 tbsps Olive Oil + 1 tbsp
- About 24 hours in advance, start by preparing the beef. Cut it into good sized chunks – each one a little bigger than an average “bite-size” and transfer to a food-safe bag, such as a freezer bag. Add in one Onion, chopped, and the Garlic, peeled and minced. Mix in with the meat in the bag before adding in about 1tsp each of Salt and Pepper, the fresh thyme, chopped, and 1 tbsp of Olive Oil. Pour in a good “slosh” of red wine. It’s difficult to say how much you’ll need but roughly 100ml should be enough for these purposes. Seal the bag and store in the refrigerator overnight, shaking around every so often.
- Once your meat has been marinating for 24 hours or so it’s time to start cooking the Bourguignon. Wash and peel the Carrots and Onion and scrub the Celery. Chop the Carrot and Celery into rough pieces and slice the Onion
- Drain the beef from the plastic bag or container. Do not discard the marinade as you will need this later. Heat the 2 tbsps Olive Oil in a large frying pan and when hot, add in the meat and chopped onion (both the freshly chopped and that from the marinade bag) and quickly fry the chunks on each side, searing well to seal in the delicious flavours. Transfer to a large, oven-proof, lidded cooking pot. Add in the carrots and celery to the frying pan and fry lightly for about 5 minutes, stirring well to ensure even cooking. Add to the cooking pot with the meat.
- In a large frying pan, melt the butter and when melted, add the flour and whisk well. Add about 100ml of Red Wine and whisk until thickened, before adding another 100ml or so of Wine. Whisk again before adding the marinade which you drained off the meat earlier. Whisk to incorporate into the wine sauce.
- Pour the Wine Sauce on top of the meat and vegetables and mix well. Top up with some extra wine if desired – many people use an entire bottle on such a dish – I like to fill the dish to just below the level of the meat. Add in the bay-leaf to the pot.
- Cover and place in the oven at about 120 degrees Celsius for at least two hours. Different ovens will give different results, much like different meats will give different results. Experiment a bit yourself but if you have a well marbled, fatty meat, try to cook it for about 3 hours, lowering the temperature slightly to about 100 degrees Celsius. Lean meats will cook (and become dry) faster so try not to maybe go above 2 hours. After this time, remove from the oven and plate up with some accompaniment of your choice, and enjoy!