The best beef Bourguignon

The best beef Bourguignon

Martha Collison has streamlined a classic dish for modern kitchens (with less washing up!), but it is as rich and flavoursome as you’d expect beef stewed in a whole bottle of red wine to be.

5 out of 5 stars(7) Rate this recipe
  • Serves6
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare30 mins
  • Cook4 hrs 30 mins
  • Total time5 hrs

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  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus ½ tbsp more, if needed
  • 200g No.1 Free Range Beech Smoked Bacon Lardons
  • 800g ox cheek or beef brisket, cut into 3cm cubes
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 500ml beef stock
  • ½ x 20g pack thyme
  • 3 sprig/s rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves

For the garnish

  • 50g butter
  • ½ x 500g bag small onions, peeled
  • 200g pack button mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ x 25g pack flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped


  1. Place a large cast-iron casserole dish (one with a lid) over a medium heat on the hob. Add 1 tbsp oil, then the lardons. Cook for 5-10 minutes until crisp, then remove to a bowl using a slotted spoon, leaving the fat in the pan.

  2. Sear ⅓ of the beef on each side until deeply caramelised, as the browning process creates flavour. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan and keep the temperature high – you want the beef to sizzle in the fat rather than release juices and boil. Remove once seared and add to the bowl with the bacon. Repeat with the remaining 2 batches.

  3. As the beef browns, cut the carrots into bitesized chunks and finely chop the onion. When all the beef is browned and set aside, add the vegetables to the pan with ½ tbsp oil, if needed, and fry gently for 8 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute more, then stir in the flour and tomato purée.

  4. Pour in ⅓ of the wine and bring to the boil. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the bottom and sides of the pan to deglaze it and release the charred bits of beef and bacon into the sauce. Add the beef and bacon pieces, then The Best cover with the remaining wine and beef stock. Season with black pepper and a pinch of salt. Tie the thyme and rosemary together in a bundle using string, then add to the stew with the bay leaves. Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4.

  5. Cover the dish with its lid, then cook in the oven for 4 hours, stirring every hour or so. Add a little water if the beef looks dry. When the meat falls apart when pushed with a fork, turn the oven off but leave the dish inside.

  6. Meanwhile, for the garnish, melt the butter in a deep frying pan. Cut any larger onions or mushrooms in ½, then add to the pan with the garlic. Fry over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often to coat in the butter, until gently caramelised and cooked through. Season with pepper and add the chopped parsley, then tip into the stew and stir gently to combine. Put the lid back on to keep warm until ready to serve, with buttery potatoes and steamed greens, if liked.

Cook’s tip

The best cut
Affordable ox cheek is perfect for beef Bourguignon. The meat is full of flavour, and although it’s a tough cut, the long cooking time breaks down the connective tissue to create a meltingly rich sauce. Ask the Partners on the meat counter to slice it into chunks for you, as it’s difficult to cut at home. If you can’t find ox cheek, go for beef brisket instead.

Using your oven
The best beef Bourguignon demands a long cooking time in the oven, so make the most of this by taking the opportunity to bake other things alongside it.

The right wine
This recipe celebrates red wine, so choose a good one! Don’t use your best bottle (save that to drink alongside) – but go for something full bodied that you enjoy, as you can really taste it. I keep it classic by choosing a French wine – Waitrose Reserve Claret or Côtes du Rhône Villages are both top choices.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,545kJ/ 612kcals



Saturated Fat












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