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Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

Recipe by Ed Thomson @edjthomson

In Sri Lanka, our family doesn’t eat much red meat, it is expensive and often tough. The Sri Lankan’s make a wonderful beef curry which involves a long slow cook and is always tender. Like a curry, the way around tough meat is to cook it with plenty of aromatics and flavouring liquids like wine and tomato. Our family loves a Beef Bourguignon, the classic French dish originating from Burgundy with their red wine Burgundy and high quality beef. This recipe is a long slow cook to ensure the flavours develop, so I always make double and its best made the day before and reheated. You can make half the serving if you like. The dish freezes beautifully or will keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.

For T&T we want to provide our readers with recipes with ingredients that are not too expensive. For this dish we used the imported beef topside from the delivery cheese company Ciao. We also like to offer alternatives, so if you want to omit the wine, add the same volume in stock, water or tinned tomatoes. If you want to leave out the bacon it is still delicious.

Happy cooking & delicious eating.

Beef Bourguignon


  • 9 tbspn olive oil
  • 2 kg Beef topside, boneless
  • 2 tbspn dried herbs, eg. Herbs de Provence, rosemary, sage etc
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 onions, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 6 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 bunch of parsley stems, chopped
  • 250gm bacon, chopped
  • 400gm button mushrooms, cleaned of any dirt
  • 2 x 250gm tomato tinned,
  • 3 cups red wine
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Parsley leaves from above bunch, chopped finely


Preheat oven to 160ºC/ 320ºF

Open up the meat packet, wash and pat dry. Cut into 3cm cubes. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a heavy based frying pan or pot with 3 tbspn olive oil. Sear the meat until browned on all sides. Then transfer to a deep baking dish that will hold all the ingredients. Do not clean the pan that the meat browned in, we want the crusty bits to add flavour to the vegetables.

Heat up another 3 tbspn olive oil, slowly cook the garlic, onions, carrots, celery and the parsley stems. Cook for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally until the vegetables are fragrant and onions soft and translucent. Transfer to the baking dish. Again, do not clean the pan.

Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes until it gets crispy around the edges. Add to the baking dish.

Heat up the last 3 tbspns olive oil and slowly cook the mushrooms whole until nice and soft. 5-10 minutes.
Add to the baking dish.

Mix all the ingredients together in the baking dish. Add the tomatoes and crush. Half fill the tomato tins with water and rinse them out catching all the little tomato bits and add to the baking dish along with the wine, bay leaves and a good grinding of pepper and some salt to taste. Mix well.

Tightly cover the baking dish with foil and cook for up to 4 hours. Every hour, remove from the oven, give it a good stir and return to the oven with the foil lid. I personally like the meat to be really soft and tender, if you push it with a fork it should come apart easily. This will take some time between 3-4 hours.

Note that the dish needs to be ¾ full of liquid, when you are checking each hour check this. You can top up with some additional wine, stock, water.

When it’s ready, you can safely leave it in the oven (turned off) for an hour before serving. Alternatively, cool and transfer into a fridge safe container to eat the next day.

To serve, sprinkle with the finely chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon. Also include your favourite potato dish. (Recipe for Potato Torte coming next week) or lovely buttered pasta – especially the large flat pappardelle noodles. Along with a green salad with a zingy vinaigrette.