Extract from Fearless Food © Lynda Booth 2017

Sometimes you come across an old classic in a new context that gets you to see it in a totally different light.

Boeuf Bourguignon has lasted the test of time because the combination of beef, wine, lardons of bacon and pearl onions is so stunning.

Lynda came across a rich version of the dish, roughly spooned into a pitta with pickled shallots and a blob of crème fraîche at a French food truck and its fast become one of our favourite brunch recipes at the school. 

The pickled shallots add a lovely sweetness and cut through the richness of the meat while the crème fraîche on the top melts and oozes over the yielding beef. Utterly delicious.

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To prepare the Beef Bourguignon

Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160° fan, 350°F, Gas 4.

Spread the flour in a thinnish layer on a baking try. Place in the oven and cook for about 5 minutes until the flour turns a sandy colour. Remove from the oven.

The beef should be browned in a frying pan in two or three batches. Dry the meat and season with salt. Heat a large frying pan with 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil. Once the oil is hot, add some of the meat in one layer, making sure that the pieces are not too tightly packed together. Sear the meat on a high heat until it caramelises on all sides. Remove to a bowl and continue with the remaining pieces of meat.

Add another dash of oil to the pan. Add the onion and carrot and cook at a medium heat, tossing regularly until the vegetables soften and turn a pale golden. Mix in the crushed garlic, toss for a minute or so and then return the beef to the pan.

Stir in the flour and cook out for a few more minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and boil for a few minutes.

Transfer the beef and vegetables to a casserole pot. Add the thyme and bay leaf and pour in enough stock to barely cover the meat. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven.

After about 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 160°C, 140° fan, 320°F, Gas 3 and braise until the meat is meltingly tender, about 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Timing will vary depending on the cut of the meat.

Place the peeled pearl onions in a saucepan and barely cover with water. Add the butter and sugar and season with salt. Bring to a rapid boil  and continue boiling until the water has evaporated and the onions have become caramelised with the residual sugar and butter. Shake the saucepan to get them evenly coated.

Heat a dash of oil in a pan and add the lardons. Sauté at a medium to high heat until the fat renders out and the bacon becomes crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

Add the mushrooms to the pan and toss over a high heat until lightly browned. Season with salt. Stir the mushrooms, lardons and pearl onions into the beef. Season to taste.

Spoon the warm boeuf bourguignon onto warm plates and top with pickled shallots and crème fraîche.

Serve in warm pitta breads


  • Serves 6
  • 25g flour
  • 1.2kg stewing beef, cut into large bite size chunks
  • Salt
  • Sunflower Oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 150ml full-bodied red wine
  • 3 small sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500ml veal or brown chicken stock
  • For the Garnish
  • 300g pearl onions, peeled
  • 10g butter
  • 10g sugar
  • 150g unsmoked bacon lardons
  • 200g small chestnut mushrooms, whole (if large, quarter them)
  • 1 sprig thyme

    To serve
  • Pitta breads
  • Creme fraiche
  • Pickled shallots

Join us at our cookery school to learn how to cook similar dishes

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