Also known as Beef Bourguignon, this recipe for melt-in-your-mouth tender beef stew braised with garlic and onions in a red wine-based broth, makes for a hearty family dinner full of satisfying flavours.
Iconic American chef and author Julia Child, who is hailed for bringing French cuisine to the American public, has described the dish as “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man”.
Stews cooked with wine cannot be rushed. It is well worth the wait though as slow-cooking the meat in red wine really brings out the deep and rich flavour of the sauce. And despite the time it takes to prepare this comforting classic, the recipe is suitable for any level of cooking skills.
The most important thing is to use the right cut of meat. You want to buy stewing beef, brisket or chuck steak that is well-marbled — that means it should have a good amount of white veins of fat running through it.
Mashed potatoes, rice or a loaf of French bread to mop up the delicious sauce, make for the perfect accompaniment to this delicious dish.
- Stew always tastes better the day after it is made. Let the stew cool to room temperature before refrigerating. Before reheating, skim any visible fat from the surface and cook, covered, over medium-low heat on the stovetop, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Freeze in an airtight container for up to two months.
- 800 grams boneless beef (well-marbled) sliced in cubes
- black pepper freshly ground
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 medium onions sliced in chunks
- 6 cloves garlic sliced and chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups red wine dry
- 2 cups beef stock rich
- 2 cups water
- 4 bay leaves
- small bunch of fresh thyme chopped
- 1 cup small carrots
- 500 grams baby potatoes peeled and cut in halves
- fresh parsley for garnishing
- Pat the beef dry and season with the salt and pepper.
- In a large, heavy-based pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering.
- Sear the meat in batches on both sides for about 5 minutes per batch.
- Add one tablespoon of oil for each batch.
- To sear the meat properly, do not overcrowd the pan and let the meat develop a nice brown crust before turning.
- Set aside.
- Add the onions, garlic, and balsamic vinegar into the pan.
- Stir with a wooden spoon and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan, for about 5 minutes
- Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute.
- Add the beef with its sauce back to the pan and sprinkle with the flour.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is dissolved – about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the wine, beef stock, water, bay leaves and thyme.
- Stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil.
- Cover the pot with a lid, turn down the heat and simmer for at least 2 hours.
- Check from time to time to ensure the meat does not burn.
- After 2 hours, add the prepared carrots and potatoes.
- Cover and cook for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are cooked, the sauce has thickened and the meat is tender.
- Season if necessary.