Just because there is more and more avocado toast and Buddha bowls kicking about nowadays doesn’t mean you can’t occasionally get back to basics. We have been seeing more and more of the more traditional dishes that were made by our grandparents recently, and we’re definitely not complaining. Among the many traditional specialities that still have a strong, fixed place on our dining tables alongside veal stew, roast chicken, filet mignon and couscous, is the classic beef bourguignon. Keep reading for all our advice on how to make this dish yourself that will taste just as good as grandma used to make it.
A good cut of beef
To make a really good beef bourguignon, your choice of meat is very important. Of course, it does have to be real beef but you should also consider going for a quality piece of meat that you could even buy from your butcher. This cut of meat won’t be as expensive as it would be in your local supermarket and will most likely be a lot better quality. Opt for a stewing meat such as a braising steak or beef shoulder which will be more tender and pleasant to chew on when you serve this dish.
If you’re not completely sure, ask your butcher and they will be able to give you advice on what type of meat would work best.
A well-cooked meat
Beef bourguignon is a braised meat dish. However, before you can braise your meat, you absolutely have to sear it and to do this, you first need to grill it in a pan. When the meat comes into contact with the walls of the pan, it will release its juices and give your dish a much nicer taste. As a result, the meat has to be nicely browned on all sides and you could even use a pair of tongs to help you with this part.
Red wine is as important in this dish as the meat itself is. If you’re thinking you could just recycle the leftover wine you have that was brought by your neighbours the last time they came over for dinner, think again. You should go for a quality red wine as this will make your dish taste so much better. If you’re not sure about which wines are ‘good quality’, go for a Burgundy wine or a ‘Bourgogne', which is a full-bodied and powerful type of wine.
Season your beef bourguignon
Sometimes, a few spices can make a world of difference. For your beef bourguignon, you should always make sure you season it properly. Fine sea salt, peppercorns, orange zest, even a teaspoon of honey to give it a ‘sweeter' touch. This will make all the difference to your final dish.
The secret to a good, creamy sauce
So that your beef bourguignon is really tasty, you need to have a good sauce to go with it. It should be neither too thick, nor too thin and to achieve this, you need to leave your dish to simmer for long enough for the sauce to develop a good texture. To make it thicker, don’t use flour or other sauce thickeners. Add potatoes instead, as these will release starch into your dish and will give your sauce all the creaminess and texture it needs.
Once you have finished making your beef bourguignon, you will need to serve it with a nice side dish to really top it all off. We suggest some nice steamed or boiled potatoes or a nice homemade mash.
What to do with your leftover beef bourguignon
Normally, when you cook beef bourguignon, it’s not just for one meal, but if the idea of eating the same thing all week doesn’t appeal to you, it’s worth knowing that it is possible to use the leftovers from this dish in other ways. For example, you could mince the meat and use it to make a nice hash or shepherd’s pie, but it is also possible to put everything in a food processor and then use breadcrumbs to make some nice croquettes from the mixture.
So what are you waiting for? Go make a nice, traditional beef bourguignon! Your grandma would be so proud!