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. Recipe with step-by-step photos.
After the uncomfortable heatwave that strikes most of Europe every July and August, which generally renders our kitchen a no-go-zone and where turning on the oven is like turning on the heater, I always welcome the start of autumn with much relief.
And as soon as the weather starts to turn grey and cold, my thoughts often turn to comforting stews and slow-cooked meals.
If you love beef stews, you will love this French classic, Beef Bourguignon (also called Boeuf Bourguignon or Beef Burgundy).
Beef Bourguignon Recipe
This recipe for Beef Bourguignon is 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 …
For me, 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.
You can also add carrots to a Beef Bourguignon, but it is not always so common. You could add just one carrot as per Julia Child’s recipe for Beef Bourguignon (most likely to add some sweetness to the sauce), but any more and your stew would be considered a Boeuf Carotte, which is a different French dish entirely.
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 (either large 5 cm cubes or more often into large blocks about 10 cm long and 5 cm wide).
Which Red Wine is Best for Beef Bourguignon?
Beef 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.
Beef Bourguignon Pies
Any leftover Beef Bourguignon is delicious made into meat pies. In fact, I regularly make a double portion of Beef Bourguignon just so I can make pies the next day!
If you plan to turn leftovers into pies, it is best to prepare the pie filling whilst the stew is still warm.
Simply shred the leftover meat with two forks, and add enough sauce to moisten the meat and to create enough sauce for the pie filling. You could also add any mushrooms and onions from the stew.
The beef bourguignon pie filling can be kept in the fridge for several days until you are ready to make the pies. During this time, the sauce will have solidified in the fridge (like any meat stew), but it will turn into a nice gravy once it is baked in the pie.
You can use the beef bourguignon pie filling to make classic meat pies by following the steps in my recipe for Classic Meat Pies.
Or you can take a popular short cut and follow the steps in my recipe for Pie Maker Meat Pies.
More Beef Stew Recipes
If you are looking for beef stew recipes, you might also like the following:Print
Beef Bourguignon with 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
A classic and easy recipe for Beef Bourguignon with a delicious side of Baguette Dumplings.
For the Beef Bourguignon
- 1 kg (2 lb) stewing beef, cut into large chunks (see Kitchen Notes)
- sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- olive oil for browning the meat
- 150 g (5 oz) lardon, pancetta or bacon, cubed
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 10–12 pearl onions or pickling onions, peeled but left whole
- 2 tablespoons plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 500 ml (2 cups) red wine
- 300 ml (1 ¼ cups) water
- 1–2 teaspoons sugar
- 3–4 stalks of parsley
- 1 sprig of thyme
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 3 cloves
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 10–12 chestnut mushrooms, left whole or halved if large
- fresh parsley, finely chopped
For the Baguette Dumplings
For the Beef Bourguignon
- Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F).
- Generously season the beef on all sides with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or other oven-proof pan over high heat.
- Sear the meat in batches until they are well browned.
- Set the meat aside on a plate.
- In the same pan, cook the lardon (or pancetta or bacon) until they are brown and crispy.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until the garlic is aromatic.
- Remove the lardon and garlic with a slotted spoon to a plate.
- Remove any excess oil from the pan. Leave just a few tablespoons of oil in the pan.
- Add the pearl onions, and cook for a few minutes.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the onions to the same plate as the lardon.
- Sprinkle over the flour and cook for a few minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Add the tomato paste and continue stirring.
- Pour in the wine, water and sugar.
- Stir everything together and let the mixture come to a gentle simmer over medium heat.
- Return the meat to the pan together with any of the juices from the meat.
- Return the lardon, onions and garlic to the pan as well.
- Tie the parsley, thyme and rosemary together with some kitchen string, and add this bouquet garni to the pan.
- 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.
- Add the bay leaf to the pan.
- Bring everything to a gentle simmer.
- Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.
- Place the pan in the oven for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender. If you are using large pieces of beef, you may need up to 4 hours cooking time.
- Check on the stew regularly to make sure it is simmering away very gently and that nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- At about 2 hours, taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
- At about 30 minutes before serving, add the mushrooms to the stew. At this stage, I find it easier to finish cooking the stew on the stove over a low heat.
- Remove and discard the bouquet garni, spice pouch (if using), and bay leaf.
- Taste for seasoning. Depending on how dry your red wine is, you might need a teaspoon of sugar or more.
- Garnish the stew with chopped fresh parsley. 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.
WHAT TYPE OF RED WINE TO USE
“If it’s not good enough for drinking, it’s not good enough for cooking.” Use any dry red wine which you would be happy to drink with your meal. It does not necessarily have to be an expensive wine. A Burgundy is traditional for this recipe, but I frequently use a Pinot Noir or Côtes-du-Rhône.
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.