Beef Bourguignon

with beef cheeks in a rich sumptuous red wine sauce

You Need

3 whole trimmed beef cheeks cut into big pieces. Each cheek will do approx 4 people or approx 300g per person of collar which is delicious and it’s always good to have a little fat
(I always ask my butcher to cut really chunky bits of steak as the UK butchers tend to cut them too small for a french bourguignon)
a couple of bone marrow chunks, (ask your butcher for a few he shouldn’t charge you!)
500g little onions, peeled and quartered or shallots
5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp juniper berries slightly smashed in a pestle and mortar to release the flavour and 2/3 cloves (optional)
400g smoked lardons or smoky bacon rashers cut into chunks
500g mushrooms, peeled if necessary, and thickly sliced
butter and oil for cooking
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
splash cognac
2 bottles (burgundy if you can) red wine
500ml rich beef stock
6tbsp plain flour
handful of fresh thyme
5 fresh bay leaves
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley

How to

In a large pan big enough to put in the oven melt a little butter and fry off the shallots/onions and bacon – set aside
Mix the flour, salt and pepper together with the thyme and meat
In the same pan, add some more butter and oil and seal the meat
You will have to do this in batches so that it doesn’t start to stew rather than sizzle and colour the meat
Don’t worry if the pan sticks at the bottom, it will be fine when the liquids are added.
with all the meat sealed, set aside the meat add cognac – flambé.
TOP TIP – if you have an extractor fan turn off before you light the cognac as the fan draws the flames up and creates a large hole in your filter!
Scrape down the sides and bottom of the pan to get all the meat juices and caramelised bits off the bottom and into the sauce. Ad the red wine and beef stock
Return the beef to the pan with the onion/shallots, bacon and garlic.
Throw in the cloves, juniper berries, bay leaves and bone marrow if using any
Cover and leave to cook gently for 2/3 hrs in a low oven
Take out and taste
Cover and leave to rest overnight
Before serving melt some butter in a pan and fry the mushrooms
Add to the meat with half the chopped parsley
Return the meat to the oven for 45mins
Stir through the remaining chopped parsley before serving
Serve it simple with crunchy french bread and steamed buttered potatoes