Boeuf à la bourguignonne

Beef Bourgignon

This splendid stew has been raped and pillaged by pub and wine bar cooks the length and breadth of this fair land of ours – they add peppers and other unmentionable ingredients to what must be a simple, slow-cooked dish with no deviation from this recipe.


  • 3 lb (1.5 kg) well-hung beef shin, shoulder and neck, cut in bite-size chunks
  • 5 onions, roughly chopped
  • 5 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 5 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bayleaves
  • 1 handful parsley, roughly chopped
  • 2 bottles red Burgundy
  • 6 thick slices streaky bacon, cubed
  • 1 large glass brandy
  • 5 fl oz (150 ml) Madeira
  • 1 small calf’s foot (optional, but preferable!)
  • 8 oz (250 g) mushrooms, finely chopped
  • Butter
  • 7 oz (200 g) baby onions, peeled
  • Salt and pepper


Marinate the beef, onions, carrots, shallots, garlic and herbs in the wine overnight. Remove the meat and reserve the marinade.

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, fry the bacon and then add the meat and brown. Add the brandy and flame. Add the Madeira and barely cover with the reserved marinade which you have sieved, discarding the vegetables. Add the calf’s foot. Cover and simmer on a low flame for 3 hours. Top up with the marinade if it seems to be drying out.

Fry the mushrooms in a little butter and add to the meat. Toss in the baby onions. When the onions are tender, add the salt and pepper. Serve very hot.