Bloke in the Kitchen. Beef Bourguignon


Taking the mystery and fear out of cooking

This is easy – it’s a stew, and anyone can make one of those. Make it right and it’s a delicious stew.

The most difficult part of this is pronouncing it: boorggee nyaw. All it means is it comes from the Bourgogne region of France. That’s what we call Burgundy, but it’s their country, and they can pronounce it how they like.

bourg 1
“Hearty” is the word people tend to use about stews: they make you feel like they’re doing you good, or preparing you for a steamy French affair.

So, it’s a beef stew, and how do you make a stew? You put some meat in some sort of savoury liquid and cook it slowly in the oven. Can we all manage that, ladies and gentlemen? Of course we can.

So without further ado:


Stewing/braising steak

Onion (chopped)

A carrot (chopped to about a quarter of an inch rounds)

Red wine (burgundy if you can, just to be traditional)

Tomato puree


Bay leaf

Mushrooms (sliced)

Cocktail onions

Plain flour



If you can find something red with Bourgogne on the label, you’re in the right place. Or you could use a Pinot Noir from anywhere (pinot noir is the name of a grape widely used in Burgundy). Or you could use just about any dry red wine. In many countries including the UK, all the reds you see are dry, but some places have this strange liking for sweet stuff. In this case it would be like making stew and adding sugar – and you don’t want to do that. If you use cheap stuff, make sure it’s okay. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it.

bourg 2
Here the carrot is chunkier and the onions have been added at the last minute. Great: it tastes pretty much the same


Fry the onion and carrot (preferably in butter) until the onion begins to brown, then add the chunks of meat and the mushrooms. Just fry the beef quickly to seal it on all sides, so there are no raw red faces.

Stir in two tablespoons of flour (this will thicken it later) and mix it all up well with a wooden spoon , then add a splat (or a good squirt) of tomato puree. Mix again. Pour in a long splash of wine and stir/scrape to get the good stuff off the base of the pan.

Transfer to a casserole dish, add the thyme and bayleaf and a few cocktail onions, plus half a bottle of wine. This might seem extravagant, but we’re using it instead of water, so there has to be plenty. You might even need more if there are more than two of you. And think how much tastier it is than H2O.

Put it in a medium oven for two hours.

Serve with boiled potatoes and green beans (or more carrots, mashed swede, peas – you’re in charge).




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