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For a variation on Sean's dish, try Guillaume Brahimi’s beef bourguignon recipe from Food Safari. Served piping hot, with a crusty baguette and a good Burgundy, "It's enough to make a Frenchman brim with pride," says Guillaume.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (50 votes)


  • 1 dessertspoon vegetable oil
  • 250 g diced speck or smoked pork belly
  • I kg chuck steak or beef cheek, cut into 5 cm cubes
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cognac
  • 1 bottle dry red wine (use half for the marinade and half for the cooking)
  • 1 litre beef stock or a light veal jus
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • bouquet garni of fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, tarragon, bay leaf and parsley stalks wrapped in muslin)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 300 g pearl onions or spring onions, blanched and peeled
  • 300 g Swiss brown mushrooms
  • pinch of sugar (to balance out the red wine's acidity)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Maldon salt
  • whole white pepper

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 24 hours

The day before this dish is required it is necessary to marinade the beef. Place the beef in a large bowl pour half a bottle of the red wine over the beef. Stir in the crushed garlic and add the bouquet garni. To keep the traditional flavours of Burgundy red, use a pinot noir. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

The next day, strain the wine marinade from the meat. Set garlic and bouquet garni to one side for later use. Place the beef on a paper towel to absorb any excess red wine.

Use a heavy-based large casserole or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Fry the speck until golden brown and crisp in 1 teaspoon of oil, drain on paper towelling for later usage.

In the same oil, sauté the mushrooms until brown and put to one side. Brown the beef well in the oil and bacon fat in batches. Do not crowd the pot or the meat will not brown properly and will start stewing, thereby ruining the slow time release of the fat in the beef and rendering the beef dry.

Once the meat is browned, put it all back in the pot and sprinkle with flour. Stir to make sure each piece is well coated. Then add the tomato paste and stir for approximately 1 minute.

Pour in the cognac and stir the bottom of the pan to scrape up bits on the bottom of the dish. You may like to flame the cognac at this point to burn off excess alcohol.

Once the alcohol has mostly evaporated, pour in the remaining red wine and reduce by half. Add beef stock and bouquet garni. Stir everything together. Bring the pot up to a simmer and cook until the liquid starts to thicken, yielding a consistency like that of a sauce, approximately 15 minutes. Add the onions and mushrooms and cover the pot, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours or until very tender.

Add a pinch of sugar. Season with 2 pinches of salt crystals and 4 twists of white pepper. Remove bouqet garni, stir in the butter.

Serve with new potatoes and heavily buttered asparagus.