The first time I ate beef bourguignon was when I was in Paris – mind you, this was so many years ago that I barely remember what it tasted like. This was also way before I started my love affair with cooking and baking. What I do remember though, was that it managed to make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, which is always a plus when it’s cold and gloomy outside.
This dish truly is very simple, and although it may seem like it takes quite a while to cook, you don’t actually need to do very much as you can just leave it to simmer on the stove. Very different from a dish like risotto where you would have to constantly stir it every 2-3 minutes. What more could one want on a cold and gloomy winter’s day?
I love eating this with a dollop (okay not a dollop, more like a huge mound) of mashed potatoes or polenta, as I personally feel they complement each other really really well. I favour polenta over mash, as polenta is much easier to whip up and requires less washing up. Always a winner when it’s been a long day at work – in my books anyway!
Another plus is that this dish can actually be turned into a vegetarian dish – simply by omitting the beef, and replacing it with more mushrooms. I’ve cooked both the mushroom and beef versions countless times, and I honestly can’t choose between the two.
Please note: I know this may not be the most traditional (or correct) way to cook this, but it works well for me.
- 500g stewing beef
- 100g pancetta cubes
- 4 carrots, diced (I use a lot as I love carrots)
- 6 shallots, quartered
- 250g chestnut mushrooms (use them whole)
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 600-700ml beef stock (I use stock cubes)
- 350ml red wine
- 2-3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed from the stems
- 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from the stem
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
2. In the same pan, cook the pancetta cubes until they start to release their oils. Add the quartered shallots, diced carrots, mushrooms and tomato puree to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes until everything is nicely browned.
3. Return the beef to the pan, and stir to combine.
4. Add the red wine, beef stock and herbs to the pan, and bring to the boil.
5. Turn down the heat, and simmer over medium heat for 2-3 hours. Alternatively, you can slow cook it in a 150°C oven.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with your choice of polenta or mashed potatoes. Or maybe even some pasta!