Beef bourguignon – the easy way


This is one of my winter favourites, beef bourguignon is not only tasty but the hours it needs in the oven warms the home.  I have cut out a lot of the steps that other recipes have, supposedly cooking and browning everything separately makes it taste better. I disagree, I’ve tried both and the only thing those extra steps adds is time and dirty dishes imo.  My way is faster to make than any other because I cut out those steps and the result is fantastic.

Prep:  20 min
Cooking:  3-4hrs
Serves:  6-8 people
It is possible to freeze for 3 months.


  • ~1.5kg beef chuck steak, you can use brisket or stewing beef instead, cut the beef into 2cm pieces, don’t trim the fat off
  • 3 tablespoons oil or butter if you fry on low heat
  • 200g unsmoked bacon, cut into 1cm strip
  • 7 decent sized garlic cloves, 5 sliced or crushed but keep 2 for later
  • 2 bottles of cheap heavy red wine Burgundy, Pinot Noir or Shiraz 
  • 2 -3 beef stock cubes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato pure/paste
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 16 shallots (or 30 pearl onion) peeled but not sliced
  • 1 large brown onion, thinly chopped
  • 400g small whole button mushrooms, these are basically just small white mushrooms, you can chose to slice if you are not fond of mushrooms
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt or more to taste
  • Black pepper teaspoon or more to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of butter


  • Preheat oven to 175°C (or 150°C if fan assisted) (350°F)
  • Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or heavy based casserole pot. Fry the bacon and steak for about 3-5 minutes (until browned).
  • Sprinkle the flour and cook for another minute or two.
  • Add the wine and all ingredients except 2 garlic cloves, butter and mushrooms
  • Please note there’s no point in tasting until the end when it’s reduced.
  • With the lid on the pot, transfer to lower part of the oven and simmer for 2hrs.  Take it out, stir and check how the meat is getting on.
  • Remove the lidd and add a cartouche. This is a fancy name for baking paper that’s been cut into a circle (the shape of the pot).  This is to stop it from burning when  you put it back in the over and reduce the amount of liquid
  • Depending on how the meat looks like put back in the oven for another 1-2 hours, or until the meat is fall apart tender (adjust the heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly).


In the last 10 minutes of cooking time, prepare your mushrooms:

  • Heat the butter in a frying-pan over low heat (or the butter will burn).  Add the 2 garlic cloves and cook until fragrant (~30sec), then add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 5min, stirring occasionally to cover in butter. Season with salt and a little pepper and add to the pot of stew (including any liquid left).
  • Put the whole pot of stew back in the oven for 5min. or so.
  • Take it out of the oven and check the sauce.

IMPORTANT: You should be left with a decent amount of thick sauce (500ml or 2 1/2 cups) of sauce thick enough to coat the back of a spoon lightly.   If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water. If the sauce is too thin, put it back in the oven about 10 minutes, or until reduced to the right consistency.

Serve with mashed potato – the sauce tastes strong therefore the side should be plain.