Beef Bourguignon, One Pot Winter Warmer

Beef Bourguignon

 “Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth,
for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”

~ Dame Edith  Sitwell, British poet and critic

Sydneysiders enjoyed one of the mildest winters in 2011 but the cold chill is fast descending upon us again.

I love winter because I love the cold weather and it makes me appreciate the joy and comforts of warm and beautiful spring time. What better time to rug up at home and work with some beautiful winter recipes and ingredients.

When I came across a beef bourguignon recipe by Sydney’s leading French chef Guillaume Brahimi,  I knew this is one recipe that I would want to replicate at home in winter. This recipe calls for simple hearty ingredients and it is so simple to cook as well.

The best thing about hearty winter stews is the wonderful aromas that comes from that pot of goodness simmering on your kitchen stove. For this recipe, the smell of fragrant bay leaves, fresh thyme combined with celery, onions, carrots, leek, red wine and beef is heavenly and this kind of food makes winter feel special for me.

Guillaume Brahimi's beef bourguignon recipe on SBS Food

Guillaume Brahimi's beef bourguignon recipe on SBS Food

I like Guillaume Brahimi’s approach to this classic French recipe.

One of my favourite ingredients to cook with is extra virgin olive oil and this recipe allows me to OD a little with EVOO in terms of browning the meat and to sautee the vegetables. Brahimi’s beef bourguignon recipe that was presented on SBS Food with Maeve O’Mara is one of my favourite videos recipes.

Check out Guillaume Brahimi’s beef bourguignon recipe below.

So here is my Beef Bourguignon recipe adapted from Guillaume Brahimi’s recipe as an awesome winter warmer.

Ingredients for Beef Bourguignon

Ingredients for Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

You can use most cuts of beef from casserole cuts like chuck, gravy or blade to more expensive cuts such as sirloin, fillet or rib eye.

I find that cheaper cuts of beef are better for stews because they take a longer time to cook compared to cuts like fillet and rib eye. In the heart of winter, there is nothing better than filling up your home with the beautiful aromas of a slow-simmering stew. The end result is the same tender and yielding meat. I also love the stringy texture of these cheaper cut in a stew which becomes beautifully tender after a couple of hours in a cast iron pot.

For this reason, I have chosen an inexpensive cut of chuck steak for this recipe.

Browning chuck steak

Browning chuck steak

Ensure your cooking pot is very hot before adding the meat to sear it.

Seared and browned chuck steak

Seared and browned chuck steak

Searing the roughly cut pieces of beef in your cooking pot will seal the meat and give it a nice golden brown crust on the outside.

Searing speck

Searing speck

Unlike Guillaume Brahimi’s recipe, I like to sear the speck pieces to bring out its flavour too although this step is not entire necessary.

Add carrots, onions, celery, leek, thyme and bay leaves to the meat

Add carrots, onions, celery, leek, thyme and bay leaves to the meat

I love this recipe because the thyme, bay leaves and vegetables have such a beautiful aroma as they start to cook in the pot.

For the next couple of hours, my kitchen is filled with this aroma as the stew slowly simmers. This is the beauty about winter and all this season has to offer to the enthusiastic home cook.

Stir in pureed carrots when the meat is soft and yielding

Stir in pureed carrots when the meat is soft and yielding

Using pureed carrots instead of corn flour to thicken the sauce is a great idea because the carrots add more body and sweetness to the stew.

2009 Jacob's Creek Shiraz Cabernet

2009 Jacob's Creek Shiraz Cabernet

I choose an inexpensive bottle of wine that is good for cooking as well as drinking.

Add button mushroom and garnish with finely chopped continental parsley

Add button mushroom and garnish with finely chopped continental parsley

Add the button mushrooms at the very end when the meat is soft because they take a relatively short time to cook. Make allowance for the mushrooms to absorb a fair bit of the sauce once they are added to the stew.

Fresh poppyseed baguette

Fresh poppyseed baguette

Instead of mashed potatoes, we decide to have a fresh poppyseed baguette and butter to mop up the hearty sauce that is so fragrant with thyme, bay leaves and wine.

This dish has become one of my favourite dishes this winter and I hope you will enjoy this delicious recipe.

Beef Bourguignon

Awesome winter warmer - Beef Bourguignon

So dear readers what is your favourite winter dish and why?

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24 Responses to Beef Bourguignon, One Pot Winter Warmer

  1. Chanel says:

    This looks delicious! I love the idea of pureed carrots instead of corn flour – so clever. Definitely one to try :-)

  2. sophia says:

    Eeee! I just made this a while ago!! I used the Julia Child recipe. Yours look magnificent!!

  3. Juliana says:

    Oh! I can almost smell this beef bourguignon…so flavorful and hearty…love the idea of baguette mopping all the sauce :)
    Hope you are enjoying your week!

  4. Dear Chopinand, I have several favourite winter dishes and this is one of them. But probably one of the things I love to cook is osso bucco. And lamb shanks. Oh, and the vanilla beef… and chicken paprika…. sheesh…. so many yummy things.

    Thank you for your beautiful post, lovely clear images and great recipe.

  5. Ann says:

    My, does this look delicious! The pureed carrots is genius!

  6. Christine says:

    I’ve been dying to try beef bourguignon after watching Julie and Julia… Looks like the perfect winter stew. .. Unfortunately I don’t eat pork and I wonder if it would be the same without the speck though :( hmm. Still worth a try though I reckon!

  7. Charles says:

    Hi Chopinand – I love a good beef bourguignon… the more red wine sloshed in the better. I usually use any old good red wine, but my French acquaintances are annoyingly quick to inform me that I “have to use a wine from the Bourgogne region” – rubbish, I think… recipes evolve. They’re not some static entities.

  8. OMG this looks so good. Loved the video. Loved the photos.

    I have one question that I struggle with.

    How do you use a recipe on an iPad? It’s on the screen for 30 seconds and then I have to swipe the thing to open it back up and my iPad is covered with whatever I have all over my fingers. I know.. wash my hands. :)

    I just print the recipe and then write all over it with my changes and then copy to my computer and then throw it away. Maybe there’s an easier method.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Maureen,

      If I have to read and follow a more complicated recipe, then I just print out a hard copy. That shot with the iPad was one I thought might just look good :)

      For this particular recipe, I have just memorized the recipe from watching that favourite video so many times. I strongly believe there should be some spontaneity in cooking just like in playing music, rather than following strictly to a recipe or reading from a music score, which takes away the “feelings and emotions”.

      I usually just write out my recipes from scratch by mentally going through the ingredients required and cooking process. Having a mental picture of the key ingredients required helps a lot too. If the recipe is adapted from an original recipe and very similar, I just copy and paste, then edit whatever slight changes that needs to be made.

  9. Kimby says:

    This dish is hard to beat in terms of favorite winter food. (I like your idea of approaching cooking like music — infinite variations and interpretations!) I’m still a sucker for a good ol’ fashioned pot roast during the cold winter months, but the flavor rewards of tending to this dish are worth the effort in the long run.

  10. The puree carrot was the surprising trick. And I saw this recipe at Sophia’s blog and I wanted to try as soon as the weather starts to cool down. Hmmm I guess I can try even now as the night gets pretty cool. How delicious. I do love stew, and I start to like it more as I get older….hmmm…

  11. Hotly Spiced says:

    I thought 2011 was our coldest winter on record! I’m finding this winter so much better than last year. Mind you, last year I had an undiagnosed thyroid condition that was making me feel so much colder than everyone else so perhaps that was it. I just love this dish and that is a great tip about adding some pureed carrots instead of cornflour. I’ll definitely try this recipe because this is the best type of meal for cold winter’s nights. xx

  12. Raymund says:

    Wow that bowl would be really good now, specially its wet and cold here. And that pureed carrots, I will try that as well. Great idea

  13. Sissi says:

    I love boeuf bourguignon and yours looks particularly good. If it wasn’t the middle of the summer, I would run to buy some beef now and prepare it. Your photos are so tempting!

  14. I’d never want to live in a country that doesn’t have seasons! Like you, I very much appreciate the seasonal change, and the change in dishes coming with it. Over here, it’s summer now (by theory, *actually* it feels like autumn because it’s cold and rainy), and in summer I prefer different dishes compared to winter – summer is more like salads and coolness and freshness, while winter is more like heartiness, warmth, but still freshness of ingredients (when it comes to vegetables, like squash or cabbage in a hearty stew). Stews are the *perfect* winter dishes for me! So your beef bourguignon looks fabulous in any regard! I think this would even be a summer dish for me, given the “summer” we have right now.

    (On a sidenote: I *really* need an iPad, so I can look up things on the internet when I’m away from home!!!!)

  15. heidi says:

    That looks magnificent- I use carrots for thickening, too- they add so much in the way of flavor and texture!
    I’m going to come back here when it cools down here- temps of 100degrees F have me sizzling inside and looking for salads and popsicles right now!
    My favorite winter meals are hearty soups- chili- beef stew- chicken with dumplings- comfort food that helps heat up the kitchen!

  16. tigerfish says:

    Oh yes, stews like this beef bourguignon is perfect for winter. Enjoy a good dinner with family and “hibernate” at home :p

  17. One of the best things about winter is these hearty style one pot dishes. The house must of smelt amazing!

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  19. Kimby says:

    P.S. (a week later, lol)… It’s 100 degrees here today, but I couldn’t resist making this recipe anyway, since it’s a “stove top” method. The aroma is fantastic as it’s simmering! Thank you.

    • Chopinand says:

      Dear Kimby,

      Looks like good food will not stop you, no matter what temperature! I’m glad you’re enjoying it and I’m sure it will be a treat too when the weather cools down.

  20. Orgreenic says:

    Interesting how you said that adding wine to a dish including beef and vegetables may make it more savory and scrumptious. Looks very appealing. Thanks!

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