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Beef Bourguignon | Boeuf Bourguignonne

Introduction & method

Beef bourguignon is a bit of a retro classic. It was hugely popular in the 70s, but has since almost sunk without trace. The phrase 'a la Bourguignonne', by the way, refers to a style of dish from the Burgundy region of France that involves meat (not always beef!) cooked slowly in red wine and garnished with mushrooms and tiny onions.

Beef Bourguignon | Boeuf Bourguignonne Recipe

Make a Red Wine Reduction

Roughly chop the onion, carrot and celery and crush the garlic with the back of a knife. Pop them in a pan with the thyme and bay leaves. Cover with the red wine and bring to the boil. Bubble away for 15-30 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by half. Strain and set aside.

Prep the Meat

Chop the bacon into 1cm  (half inch) cubes. Melt 50 grams (2 ounces) of butter in a large frying pan and heat up with 2 tbsps oil. Add the bacon and brown it on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside. Cut the beef into large chunks - 3-4 cm (1½-2 inches) on a side is good. Remove any large bits of fat frpm the beef. Mix 1 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of ground black pepper and 2-3 tbsp flour. Dredge each chunk of beef in the flour and shake off the excess. When you've browned the bacon, add some of the beef to the pan - enough to half cover the bottom. You need plenty of room around your beef chunks and you want to brown them very well on all sides. When they're done, remove from the pan and put another batch in. Put the pig's trotter into the frying pan and get it bronzed all over. If you couldn't get it cut it in half lengthways, you can probably do this yourself with a sharp knife and some effort.

What you do next depends on how you want to cook your meat. You can do it in 30 minutes in a pressure cooker, or 3 hours in the oven.

Cook the Meat - Pressure Cooker

Put all the beef and the bacon into your pressure cooker. Add the reserved wine and maybe some water - you want the liquid to stop a bit short of the top of the meat. Bring it to the boil, put the trotter in, lid on, up to pressure and cook for half an hour.

Cook the Meat - Oven Method

Preheat your oven to 130°C (266°F) for a fan oven, 150°C (302°F) conventional, gas 2. Add the beef, bacon, pig's trotter and wine to a large casserole dish. If necessary, add a bit of water to bring the liquid level up to just under the top of the meat. don't worry if it doesn't look like enough liquid - the meat will release some during cooking.

Prep the Veggies

It's more than likely at this stage that your oil and butter in the frying pan will be a shocking mess with burnt flour from the beef. So get rid of it, clean the pan and use fresh oil and butter. Peel the onions (this is easier, apparently, if you sit them in hot water for 5 minutes beforehand), and brown them all over. Remove from the pan. Clean the mushrooms and sauté them in the frying pan.

Finish the Beef Bouguignon

If you did the pressure cooker method, preheat your oven to 130°C (266°F) for a fan oven, 150°C (302°F) conventional, gas 2. Transfer everything from the pressure cooker to a large casserole dish, add the mushrooms and onions, pop the lid on the casserole and cook it for 30 minutes. If you did the oven method, just add the  mushrooms and onions and cook for a final 30 minutes.


At the end of cooking, taste it and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with boiled potatoes and a scattering of chopped parsley.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Beef Bourguignon | Boeuf Bourguignonne on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 1 bottle red wine (preferably Burgundy)
 1 carrot
 1 small onion
 2 sticks celery
 4 cloves garlic
 3 sprigs thyme
 2 bay leaves
 1 kilo beef (shin, chuck or skirt)
 225 grams unsmoked bacon or pancetta, in one piece
 1 pigs trotter, cut in half lengthways
 24 button mushrooms
 24 pearl onions


Butter and oil for sautéeing.

US Customary/Imperial

Serves 8 
Prep time: 15 minutes.
Cooking time: 4 hours.
Total time: 4 hours 15 minutes.