Beef bourguignon in a cast iron casserole dish

Beef bourguignon

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(42 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins Plus overnight marinating


Serves 6

The secret to this super-rich beef casserole is to use all wine and no stock

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal767
  • fat39g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs16g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre4g
  • protein67g
  • salt2.09g


  • 1.6kg braising steak, cut into large chunks
  • 3 bay leaves
  • small bunch thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 bottles cheap red wine
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 large or 6 normal carrots, cut into large chunks



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée

To serve

  • small knob butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 300g bacon lardons



    Bacon is pork that has been cured one of two ways: dry or wet. It can be bought as both rashers…

  • 500g pearl onions or small shallots, peeled



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 400g mushrooms, halved



    The mushroom is a fungus which comes in a wide range of varieties that belong to two distinct…

  • chopped parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Tip 1.6kg braising steak, cut into large chunks, into a large bowl with 3 bay leaves, a small bunch of thyme, 2 bottles cheap red wine and some pepper, then cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

  2. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

  3. Place a colander over another large bowl and strain the marinated meat, keeping the wine.

  4. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan, then brown the meat in batches, transferring to a plate once browned. When all the meat is browned, pour a little wine into the now-empty frying pan and bubble to release any caramelised bits from the pan.

  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large casserole and fry 3 large or 6 normal carrots, cut into large chunks, and 2 roughly chopped onions until they start to colour. Stir in 3 tbsp plain flour for 1 min, then add 1 tbsp tomato purée.

  6. Add the beef and any juices, the wine from the frying pan and the rest of the wine and herbs. Season and bring to a simmer. Give everything a good stir, then cover.

  7. Transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hrs until the meat is really tender. Cool. Will freeze for up to 3 months.

  8. To serve, defrost completely overnight in the fridge if frozen, then place on a low heat to warm through.

  9. Meanwhile, heat a small knob of butter in a frying pan and add 300g bacon lardons and 500g peeled pearl onions or small shallots. Sizzle for about 10 mins until the bacon starts to crisp and the onions soften and colour.

  10. Add 400g halved mushrooms and fry for another 5 mins, then stir everything into the stew and heat for 10 mins more. Serve scattered with chopped parsley.

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Comments, questions and tips

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James Hartley's picture
James Hartley
10th May, 2020
Be careful, on the app it doesn't mention overnight marinating until step one!
Vivien Duffield
30th May, 2020
Please read the recipe again as this is stated in phase 1
17th Feb, 2018
This is a great recipe - delicious yet so easy to make. I follow to the letter and this is now a family (and friends!) favourite. Only one thing - I can never find pearl onions so have to use shallots and halve them which I think spoils the appearance a little.
24th Mar, 2018
I had this problem too. "Picard" Pearl Onions are sold by Ocado (here in the UK). Online shopping of course but worth at least one shop to get them and they are ready peeled and frozen so I stocked up with a few!!¶m=pearlonions&parentContainer=SEARCHpearlonions
4th Jan, 2017
Absolutely revolting. Too much wine overpowers the taste. Don't make!
15th Nov, 2016
This dish was absolutely stunning, can't wait to cook it again. Just read some of the other reviews and I did use a creuset lidded pot and I did use a cheap bottle of red wine which I marinated the meat over night in....I wouldn't change a thing from the recipe.
7th Jun, 2016
I love this dish. Best thing to use is cast iron, a creuset type lidded pot. I do do things a bit differently. Everyone does. For starters the mushrooms have to be wild mushrooms, don't bother with store bought button, portobello mushrooms of any kind or hue they honestly aren't worth your time. You need the rich flavour of good earthy wild mushrooms, not slippery lumps of nothing. Their smell must permeate your nose when you sniff them. Leaving them out completely is the only alternative to using wild dried mushrooms instead. I also roast the meat (beef shanks/shin are good) whole/undiced on a high heat, rare in the middle, in the oven for half an hour, plus a few large red onions and large carrots. Meantime the bottle of red wine I reduce in a wide shallow pan with previously browned chopped red onions, garlic, anchovies x6, lemon zest (bay leaf if you like) and good tomato paste (sundried is the best) until I can't smell strong alcohol anymore. This I pour over the roasted meat in the pot, plus a light stock, plus a simple dark rue made with a little extra butter in the roasting tin. Drop in a bouquet garni, thyme, tarragon, oregano, stick of celery etc. Season lightly all stages. Then your're ready to go. Add whole small shallots unpeeled and topped and bottomed half way through. Fresh tender baby carrots are added near the end plus nice large lardons of grilled caramelised air cured panccetta or alternative. Avoid wet salty processed bacon. What you are doing is creating layer upon layer of flavour. Taste as you go but bear in mind reduction will concenrate the flavours so you're not looking for anything too rich or salty at the early stages. Salt besides seasoning the meat for roasting and lightly seasoning as I go I leave until near the very very end when Im more or less happy with the reduction levels. I use pink crushed Himalayan mineral salt these days, it seems to give far more depth and flavour than plain table or the domineering intensity of sea salt. I do it at the end because I use anchovies and tomato puree which can be salty enough after reduction, plus lightly seasoning everything as I go. Its the last thing I test for along with pepper. Takes about three hours or so in the oven, on a very low heat or even on a heat distributor or separator in a heavy cast iron lidded pot (on the lowest gas) on the oven top. I quite like the last method as its easier to see what's going on just by coming and going. Especially after a glass or two of that excellent wine. Comes out just as lovely, rich and silky smooth without an oven. Turn the meat over with a spoon gently once or twice just to make sure it isn't sticking. If you don't actually have an oven you can pre-sear the meat in a pan too, on high gas, keep turning, so its evenly seared. I don't marinade the meat before roasting but I always use the best wine I can afford. Never use a cheap wine, it would wreck the whole thing. Taste it before you use it too, a corked wine could be worse than cheap wine! Honestly if its something you wouldn't be happy drinking don't use it because the quality of the wine is critical, not so much the grape variety as long as it's red and a fair enough vintage. I usualy go for a French Pinot noir just for reliability, consistancy. The wine dominates the whole dish. Too sweet, too rough with tannins/too dry it will all come back at you and it's very difficult if not in fact impossible to remedy. You aren't tanning leather here but cooking a fine dish, and nor is it a dessert! The balance acidity should be perfectly agreeable. Very easy and not terribly time consumming dish, you need to relax into it and let it cook itself. Bon appetite!
Darren John
27th Aug, 2016
You sir, are a genius!
15th May, 2016
I browned everything first, then threw it into the slow cooker. It was nice, but there was a slight aftertaste, I think from the wine.
4th Apr, 2016
Tried this in the slow cooker, very tender beef and vegetables but far too much wine. Was almost inedible. Sweetened with sugar to try to make it more palatable. Will not be making again.


23rd Aug, 2016
Can you cook the whole of this recipe and then freeze?
goodfoodteam's picture
30th Aug, 2016
Hi there, you'll get absolute best results if you do it as suggested but if you're short on time, freeze the completed dish. We'd always recommend scattering over the fresh herbs when you serve. Hope that helps!
22nd Aug, 2016
Why cant you completely cook this dish and then freeze it?
4th Aug, 2014
Will this cook well in a slow cooker?
Dave Soutar
12th Aug, 2017
A lot of comments are complaints about the overpowering taste of wine, I did find this the first time I cooked this, the overpowering taste was coming from the beef itself, not the sauce. I've cooked it again since an just used more herbs in the marinade and it was delicious. So as apposed to a 'small bunch of thyme' use a larger amount and throw in an extra couple of bay leaves, this step is entirely dependant upon taste. It will initially smell really herby when you first start cooking it but by the end everything marries and the smell is delicious. Also if you're wanting to cook all this in one go the cooking time is 3 hours, then throw in the fried bacon/shallots mix and cook it for another half hour (the recipe at the top does state 3hrs 30mins but the method conveys this quite confusingly).
19th Jan, 2015
I made this over the weekend for a friend coming for dinner. It was so nice, he helped himself four times! Followed the recipe to the letter, aside from using a carton of beef stock and some water instead of the second bottle of wine. Be careful to have the beef fully submerged as some bits bobbing on top above the liquid line got a little burnt on top. I see other recipes recommend adding garlic, onion, celery and carrot to the marinade to add flavour so I will do that next time. The veg are discarded and not used in the dish. I served with duck fat roast potatoes and green beans, went great with it.
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