After making so many versions of beef bourguignon, at the same time not entirely sure which is the true version, I have came up with the version that suits me the most! haha..
This is my version of a beef bourguignon which I found tasty enough for my liking, doesn’t matter whether it’s the true version or not,
1.5kg best braising steak, aberdeen angus, sliced into decent chunks, seasoned with salt and pepper
250g bacon lardons
1 bottle of full-bodied red wine – burgundy or bordeaux
500g chestnut or button mushrooms, halved if mushrooms are big
500ml beef stock
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 bouquet garni
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 whole onion, finely chopped
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt and black pepper for seasoning
3 tbsp of cornflour – mixed in water so they do not form clumps
15 small onions
1) Preheat the oven at 170 deg celcius. Heat a large casserole pan, add in 2 tbsp of olive oil. Fry until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Fry until the meat is browned all over. Add in more olive oil if necessary. (some would like to use goose fat instead of olive oil but I go for a slightly healthier version). Do this in a few batches (at least 4-5 batches) so that you don’t overcrowd your pan. Set the meat aside when it is browned.
Note: Some people use plain flour to coat the beef prior to frying it which works as well but I find that this method tends to leave a burn coating on the inside of the casserole so I then avoided using this method. If you use plain flour to coat the beef, you can omit the cornflour from the ingredients list.
2) After all the beef have been set aside, in the same casserole pan, add in the bacon lardons in 2 batches and fry until golden brown. This would render all the fat from the bacon into the pan. Set aside the bacon lardons once it is golden brown.
3) Using the bacon oil in the same pan, fry the onions. Add the fresh thyme, bouquet garni, mushrooms and garlic into the pan and fry until lightly browned. Mix in the tomato puree and cook for a few minutes. Then return the beef and bacon lardons and drained juices into the pan and stir through.
Note: Some people prefer frying the mushrooms in the middle of the process of step 6 and add it into the casserole so it’s entirely up to you!
4) Pour the bottle of wine and beef stock into the casserole and let it boil. In the meantime, put the small onions into another pot of boiling water and let boil for 5 minutes. After the onions are boiled, drain the water away. When the onion is cooled enough, chop the root off the onion and peel the skin off the onion leaving it whole. Add the peeled onions into the casserole.
5) Season it with some salt and pepper bearing in mind that the stock (beef stock and red wine) will reduce so don’t add too much. You can season at the end if you like to, rather than doing it now.
6) Put the casserole lid on once the casserole is boiling and put the casserole into the oven. Leave it in the oven for 2-3 hours to cook. Towards the end of 2-3 hours, add the cornflour into the casserole to thicken the mixture. If the mixture is not thickened enough to your liking, then add more cornflour.
7) Garnish with some chopped parsley.