Boeuf Bourguignon

For me, boeuf bourgugnon has always been the perfect peasant dish.  Like most peasant dishes its genius lies in its ability to transform a traditionally tough cut of beef – most often rump – into melt-in-your mouth deliciousness fit for a king.  With a short list of humble ingredients this dish is a creation you certainly feel proud of. 

I truly love this style of cooking.  It reminds me a lot of my childhood.  On cold winter days I would escape the chilly crisp air and scamper into the kitchen to watch my nanna create one of her English style stews.  Perched at the stove top she would keep a careful eye over a cauldron like pot simmering away filled with wonderfully fresh carrots, celery, onion, peas, broccoli and whatever else she had on hand along with the meat of her choice, more times than not it would be beef.  After an hour or two of careful simmering we would all be treated to a lovely bowl filled with steaming hot stew and a wodge of bread to mop up all the delicious juices with.


There is great satisfaction with this style of cookery.  With a little time and using a collection of quite humble ingredients you can create a magnificent, full of flavour dish filled with lusciously tender melting meat.  A dish that will warms the cockles of anyone’s heart. 

To accompany beouf bourguignon there is only one choice for me, creamy mash.  Potato mash that is.  It’s the perfect partner to the rich beef, its lusciously creamy texture not only mops up the wonderful beefy wine sauce but its mellow flavour balances the richness of the sauce creating a perfect equilibrium.  And of course a glass of red wine is absolutely essential.  R. and I chose a beautiful bottle of French shiraz that worked perfectly. 

Boeuf Bourguignon


50g unsalted butter
800g beef rump, cut into 5cm cubes
2 tbsp plain flour
120g bacon lardons
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
24 baby onions, peeled whole
4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
250ml beef stock
1bottle pinot noir (preferably Burgundian)
1 bouquet garni (bay leaves, thyme, celery stick, parsley), tied with string
24 button mushrooms, sliced and stems trimmed


Heat butter in a large cast-iron casserole pot over medium heat and brown the beef cubes for 8-10 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook for further 5 minutes then transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate.
Add bacon lardons, garlic, onion, baby onions and carrots to the pot and sauté until softened or for about 5-7 minutes. Return the beef cubes to the pot, add the beef stock and bring to the boil. Add red wine and bouquet garni and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer for 2 to 2½ hours over low heat, occasionally skimming off any fat that rises to the surface, or until the meat is tender and the sauce has reduced to a thick consistency. Add the mushrooms during the final 20 minutes of cooking. If necessary, strain the sauce through a fine sieve into another saucepan and cook over high heat, stirring continuously, for 5-10 minutes to reduce further.
Allow to cool slightly before serving the beef stew, sprinkled with parsley, and some smooth mashed potato.

Creamy Mash


1.5 kg sebago potatoes
250 ml (1 cup) milk
500 gm butter, coarsely chopped
Pinch of finely grated nutmeg, or to taste


Bring potato and a generous amount of cold salted water to the boil in a large saucepan, cook until potatoes are tender (15-20 minutes). Drain in a colander, return to pan to evaporate excess water (5 minutes), pass through a ricer or mouli into a clean pan.
Bring milk to the simmer in a separate saucepan over medium heat, add half to potato and beat to combine. Add butter a little at a time, beating to incorporate well, then beat until glossy. Add enough remaining milk to form a soft purée (you may not need all the milk depending on the amount of starch in the potato), season to taste with nutmeg, freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, and serve hot.


  1. Wow babe this looks totally mouth watering. You seriously deserve a book deal!

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