A classic and easy recipe for Beef Bourguignon with a delicious side of Baguette Dumplings. Tips on what red wine to choose when making Beef Bourguignon, and what to serve with Beef Bourguignon.
Beef Bourguignon Recipe
If you love beef stews, you will love this French classic, Beef Bourguignon (also called Boeuf Bourguignon or Beef Burgundy).
With the weather in Zurich being its typical and formidable grey in April, beef stew has been on the menu a few times in recent weeks, but having cooked my way partly through Rachel Khoo’s wonderful cookbook, The Little Paris Kitchen, I was drawn to her recipe for Beef Bourguignon because of her pairing with baguette dumplings.
I instantly loved the sound of these dumplings and was curious to see if they could provide a fresh change to this classic dish which is so often served just with boiled or mashed potatoes.
Beef Bourguignon Ingredients
The ingredients for Beef Bourguignon are nothing too different to your usual beef stew.
What really sets a Beef Bourguignon apart from other beef stews is the use of red wine, but more on that later …
The baby onions are a must in this dish, as are the mushrooms, as a way of introducing vegetables in what is otherwise a meat-heavy dish. So despite the tedium of peeling a dozen baby onions, you will be thankful later when everyone is trying to fish about for something to eat alongside a large chunk of meat.
Which Cut of Beef to Use for Beef Bourguignon?
The most important part of this dish is, naturally, the beef.
I buy most of my meat from the butcher, so I always ask for stewing beef in one large piece which I can then slice up at home. Pre-chopped stewing beef tend to be too small for my liking, and I happen to think that large pieces of meat cook better when slow-cooked. So for stews like a Beef Bourguignon, I like to cut the meat into fairly large chunks.
I know Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver have been promoting as of late that you do not need to brown the meat, that this step makes no difference to the end result. I beg to differ. I think browning the meat and letting it caramelise is an important step in order to add depth and flavour to the sauce.
But one thing which has often stressed me out is flouring the meat before I brown it. By the second or third batch of meat, I often find that the flour is beginning to burn and the pan is starting to smoke like crazy.
So now I don’t flour the meat at all before I brown it, but that once I return all of the meat to the pan, I then sprinkle over the flour and let it cook away for a minute or two. Much less stressful and you won’t have burnt bits in your stew later.
Which Red Wine is Best for Beef Bourguignon?
Boeuf Bourguignon is thought to have its origin in the Burgundy region of France (hence, the name), but each region has its own version of this classic dish, using its local red wine.
As red wine is the predominant flavour in this dish, it would be wise to use a good-quality wine, one which isn’t necessarily expensive, nor a Burgundy (unless you need to impress).
I often make this dish with a Pinot Noir or a Côtes-du-Rhône, nothing too expensive but good enough to also drink with the meal later. If you’re not prepared to drink the wine, please do not invest 3 hours cooking with it.
What to Serve with Beef Bourguignon
Boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes are the usual accompaniments to a classic Beef Bourguignon.
But for something a bit different, I think Rachel Khoo’s Baguette Dumplings are a wonderful alternative.
These Baguette Dumplings are made from – you guessed it – leftover or stale baguette loaves. They are fried until crispy and golden, and they are perfect for soaking up all the wonderful, rich sauce from the Beef Bourguignon.
The dumplings themselves taste like fried savoury eggy bread – totally delicious!
Trust me – once you have tried these Baguette Dumplings, it will be hard to eat Beef Bourguignon with anything else!
How to Make Baguette Dumplings
Rachel Khoo stipulates 200 g of stale baguette for her recipe, and this equates to a whole baguette in my neck of the woods. So I set about buying an extra baguette to leave for a few days to become stale.
Tough task given that we go through bread pretty quickly in our home, and a guilt-ridden task given that my husband went without breakfast one morning upon realising that this entire baguette loaf had been reserved for dinner later that night. But it was all for a good cause …
As you can see from the photos, the baguette I used is pretty thin and crusty. It is important that the bread is stale for this recipe so that it can soak up all of the milk but not go mushy. Trust me – I made these dumplings again a few nights later with somewhat fresh bread and the result was very sticky and messy. However, once the dumplings were cooked, they still tasted delicious.
How to Make Beef Bourguignon with Baguette Dumplings
You can watch Rachel Khoo make her version of Beef Bourguignon with Baguette Dumplings in the video below:
More Beef Stew Recipes
If you are looking for beef stew recipes, you might also like the following:Print
Beef Bourguignon with Baguette Dumplings
A classic and easy recipe for Beef Bourguignon with a delicious side of Baguette Dumplings.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 3 hours
- Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4-6
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: French
For the Beef Bourguignon
- 1 kg (2 lb) stewing beef, cut into large chunks (see Kitchen Notes)
- olive oil for browning the meat
- 150 g (5 oz) lardon or bacon, cubed
- 10–12 button onions, peeled
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- a bunch of parsley stalks, tied together with kitchen string
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 3 cloves
- 10 peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 500 ml (2 cups) red wine
- 300 ml (1 ¼ cups) water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 10–12– chestnut mushrooms, left whole
- flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
For the Baguette Dumplings
For the Beef Bourguignon
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F).
- Heat the oil in a large, oven-proof casserole pan over high heat and sear the meat in batches until they are well browned. Set aside on a plate.
- In the same pan, cook the lardons until they are brown and crispy.
- Add the onions, garlic, bay leaf, parsley stalks, thyme and rosemary.
- Place the cloves and peppercorns into a small muslin bag or spice pouch, or simply add them to the pan if you don’t mind fishing out these bits later.
- Return the meat to the pan together with any of the juices from the meat.
- Sprinkle over the flour and cook for a few minutes.
- Pour in the wine and water, and stir in the tomato paste and sugar.
- Bring everything to a gentle simmer.
- Cover the pan with a lid and place the pan in the oven for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender.
- About 20-30 minutes before serving, add the mushrooms to the stew.
- Remove the bay leaf, parsley stalks and spice pouch (if using), and also the thyme and rosemary sprigs (which should have lost their leaves by now).
- Taste for seasoning. Depending on how dry your wine is, you might need a teaspoon or so of sugar.
- Garnish the stew with chopped flat-leaf parsley and serve with Baguette Dumplings or boiled whole potatoes.
For the Baguette Dumplings
- Slice the baguette into little pieces and place them in a medium bowl.
- Bring the milk to a boil in a small saucepan and pour the milk over the bread.
- Cover the bowl with clingfilm and set it aside for 15 minutes.
- Season with freshly ground nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Add the parsley and egg, and sprinkle over the flour.
- Use your hands to mix everything together. The mixture should be moist and slightly sticky and able to hold its shape. If it is too wet, add a bit more flour.
- Take a small handful of the mixture and shape them into dumplings, slightly larger than a golf ball. Or you can make them as big or as small as you like.
- To cook the baguette dumplings, melt some butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.
- Cook the dumplings until they are golden and crispy on all sides.
WHAT TYPE OF BEEF TO USE
* For a beef stew like Beef Bourguignon, you need to use a cut of beef which is suitable for slow-cooking, such as chuck steak, beef shoulder or even beef shin.
* I recommend buying the stewing beef in one large piece, and slicing it up yourself into large portions. The large portions of meat take a bit longer to cook, but they are nicer for serving and more pleasant to eat than if you were to cook this dish with lots of small pieces of meat.
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 441
- Sugar: 2.1g
- Sodium: 306.3mg
- Fat: 21.5g
- Carbohydrates: 8.9g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 39.4g
- Cholesterol: 126.5mg
This recipe was first published on 27 April 2012. It has been updated with more comprehensive recipe notes.