“Some recipes suggest marinating the beef for 24 hours or more, but I find this makes for a gamey flavour that’s not entirely true to the original. Like all braised dishes, this is best eaten a day or two after it’s made – simmer gently to reheat and add the garnish just before serving so that it’s bright and fresh. Boiled potatoes are the classic accompaniment but mash is more to my taste.” – Michel Roux Jr
1 bottle of red Burgundy wine
700g braising beef (chuck is good but cheek is best)
plain flour, for dusting
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 bouquet garni, made up of thyme, bay leaf and parsley stalks
400ml beef or veal stock (see below)
2 tbsp cold unsalted butter
3 tbsp unsalted butter
12 brown-skinned cocktail or button onions (or small shallots), peeled
12 young carrots, peeled
120g smoked streaky bacon rashers or ventrèche, cut into thin strips
12 button mushrooms, wiped
juice of ½ lemon
Pour the wine into a saucepan and boil until reduced by half. Trim the beef and cut it into 3cm cubes, then dust with flour. Heat a frying pan until very hot, add a dash of oil and brown the beef well on all sides. Do this in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Preheat the oven to 160°C/Fan 140°C/Gas 3.
Once all the beef has been browned and set aside, discard the oil and add a tablespoon of clean oil, the sliced onion and crushed garlic. Cook until the onion is brown and caramelised, then put the meat back in the pan. Add the brandy, followed by the reduced wine, and simmer for 2–3 minutes.
Pour everything into a cast-iron casserole dish, then season and add the bouquet garni and stock. Bring to a simmer, skim well to remove any surface scum and cover loosely with a lid or greaseproof paper. Place in the oven and cook until the meat is tender – this should take 1½–2 hours, depending on the cut. Leave to cool, then take the meat out of the dish and set aside. Skim to remove any fat, then pass the liquid through a sieve into a pan. Boil until it thickens to a sauce, then add the meat. Cover and chill until needed.
To prepare the garnish, melt a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan and add the onions, seasoning, 2 tablespoons of the sauce from the beef and 4 tablespoons of water. Braise the onions until they are shiny and cooked through. Put the carrots in a pan with just enough water to cover and most of the rest of the butter. Season and bring to a gentle boil, then cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the carrots are tender and shiny with butter. Brown the strips of bacon in a frying pan. Sweat the mushrooms in a little butter until cooked but still firm and add seasoning and lemon juice.
To serve, gently reheat the boeuf bourguignon on the hob while you prepare the garnish. Add a couple of knobs of cold butter to enrich and shine the sauce, then garnish with the onions, carrots, bacon and mushrooms. Take the dish to the table for everyone to admire, then serve in wide bowls.