Boef Bourguignon was a much loved 1970s dinner party classic and regular menu item on 1960s and 1970s bistro menus. It literally just fell out of fashion. It was originally a French peasant dish, almost certainly made with cheaper cuts of meat. You can still make it with braising steak if you wish, just cook it for longer. However this version has a certain luxurious twist as it is made with top rump or sirloin steak. It is an easy dish to expand to the number of people you have coming to dinner and it will bubble away happily in the oven until you are ready to serve your guests.
Nothing better than a steaming casserole at this time of year. I usually make some garlic mash to go with it and also serve with green beans or carrots. Whatever you do, crack open a good bottle of wine, maybe French Pinot Noir to enjoy with this hearty dish. I can recommend Louis Latour Pinot Noir.
I got the recipe from an old Cookery book of mine and remarkabably you can still get it (I got mine in my teens):
900 g either top rump of beef (or sirloin)
50 g butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon plain flour
3 tablespoons brandy
2 cloves of garlic
1 bouquet garni
1 bottle of red wine
175 g bacon
20 small onions
175 g mushrooms
finely chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
- Cut the meat into 5 cm cubes.
- Melt half the butter with the olive oil in a large, flameproof casserole or if you don’t have this use a deep solid saucepan, then add to the meat and cook over a fairly high heat until browned.
- Peel and finely slice the onion and add to the meat, cook until transparent.
- Sprinkle over the flour and continue cooking for a few minutes.
- Pour over the brandy and set it alight.
- Crush the garlic and add it to the pan with the bouquet garni and salt and pepper to your taste.
- Pour over enough wine to cover the meat and cook until simmering.
- If you have been cooking in a pan, transfer to an openproof casserole or deep dish and cook in a preheated oven at for 2 hours.
- Then fry the bacon in the remaining butter until crisp.
- Add the small onions and cook until golden, stirring often.
- Stir the contents of the pan into the casserole and cook for 30 minutes.
- Slice the mushrooms or remove the stalks if using button mushrooms which I prefer to use and add into the cassserole and cook for another 15 minutes.
- Remove the bouquet garni and if desired sprinkle with finely chopped parsley to garnish and serve with preferred accompaniments.
Tip re cooking for smaller numbers: I generally allow one steak and one rasher of bacon per person. Just reduce the other ingredients proportionately and you just need enough red wine to cover the ingredients.