Beef Bourguignon and A Happy New Year

I suppose the item on the agenda worth tackling first is the sudden moral rejuvenation of most inhabitants of the world. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is the year for which we have all been waiting, 2012 has finally dawned and one can say, with certainty, that resolutions will not be in short supply. Of course, I am not one to go in for such moral undertakings; it is an accomplished fact, or fait accompli, that 97% of all resolutions will have been thrust harshly into the cold within 72 hours of their formulation. Still, it’s the thought that counts. I suppose all that is left to say is: Happy New Year!

Once again, apologies must be made for my lack of activity; Christmas was spent with Katherine and the urge to blog never really found its way into my grey matter. However, work doesn’t start for a number of days and as such the intention is to rekindle my love for food; despite the fact that a good portion of my last 8 days on this earth has been spent in a kitchen. Indeed, my mother gifted me a rather interesting vegetable cookbook, penned by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and I intend to bring you some of his very best recipes.

For now, you shall have to settle for this rather delicious and imminently rich beef bourguignon, a classic French dish originating from the region of Burgundy, one of that country’s main wine producing areas. This dish isn’t necessarily going to be cheap, what is more important is that it is done economically. For instance, please do not use a good quality wine, it simply isn’t necessary – save that for drinking. Similarly, do not use a ridiculously expensive cut of beef; the cheaper cuts of beef will work far better in this dish. If these two simple steps are followed one shall end up with both a happy wallet and a delicious meal.

Beef Bourguignon

Serves 4


• 500g stewing beef

• 2 rashers of smoked bacon

• 2 large onions, finely chopped

• 250g chestnut mushrooms, quartered

• 2 cloves of garlic

• 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped

• 1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped

• 3-4 bay leaves

• 1 tbsp tomato puree

• 500ml red wine

• 250ml water

• Olive oil

• Salt and pepper


1. Heat the oven to 150C. Season the beef and fry in a large cast iron casserole pot until browned on all sides. When all the meat is browned transfer it to a bowl. Tip in the onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and mushrooms, cook in olive oil until browned. Return the beef to the pot, along with the red wine, water, bay leaves and tomato puree.

2. Place the lid on the dish and pop it in the oven. After 3 hours take the dish out of the oven and remove the lid. Place the dish back on the hob and cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce. Season to taste and serve with mash or bread.

Cost: Assuming my previous guidelines have been followed, this meal should set one back no more than £7.50. This means that each portion should cost a rather reasonable £1.90 ish. How economical.

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45 comments on “Beef Bourguignon and A Happy New Year

  1. Kimby
    January 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm

    What a hearty and delicious dish to start the New Year! Looking forward to more in 2012!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 1, 2012 at 3:00 pm

      Oh yes! There shall be a lot more where that came from 😀 Starting tomorrow.

  2. alternative eating
    January 1, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Looks really good:) Happy New Year:)

  3. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    January 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    This looks amazing and Katherine, my Katherine that is, is reading Julie and Julia now.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      I’ve been meaning to watch the film for ages!

  4. Janis
    January 1, 2012 at 7:28 pm

    I am not the one to write down lists on how to overhaul my life this new year although I made a promise to strive for better dishes and photos, too. That’s not too ambitious, right?

    This dish looks so good, maybe I’ll try it out some time this year. I still haven’t done the cream cheese muffin which I said I will try months ago. It’s hard keeping up with you and your recipes!

    Happy 2012!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      No, I’m sure you’ll be fine :D. Yes, try my stuff! Heh. I suppose I do have quite a few!

  5. countrywoodsmoke
    January 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    Happy New Year. A delicious dish to start the year with. We need to keep the big bold food going, otherwise before we know it we’ll be back on summer salads again.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:29 pm

      Oh yes, it was! Definitely, I’m not a big fan of too many salads. I’ll keep it coming all year round 😀

  6. Jen R
    January 1, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    Yummo, too warm for the beef at moment here in Australia…salads all the way….cant wait to see more from the new cook book, Happy New Year to you xx

  7. thewholebagofchips
    January 2, 2012 at 12:35 am

    oooh I love this recipe! Thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

  8. cookingcarmen
    January 2, 2012 at 1:20 am

    Yum! Thanks for the tips on making this affordable. I will have to try it!

  9. Aimee@clevermuffin
    January 2, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Hmmm… so buy your logic I’m best buying TWO bottles of wine, one cheap (for the food) and a good one (for me? don’t mind if I do). Well, Ok, you’re the boss! Happy new year, looking forward to many more of your recipe in 2012.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      Oh yes, one is always best buying two bottles of wine!

  10. ceciliag
    January 2, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Very tasty looking.. I am glad you have had a good break, have fun.. c

  11. foodistherapy
    January 2, 2012 at 3:22 am

    Looks delicious! I just made a version of this this week too – yours looks so much better!!

  12. Savory Simple
    January 2, 2012 at 5:31 am

    One of my favorite stews. Happy New Year!

  13. Bam's Kitchen
    January 2, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Happy 2012! What are chestnut mushrooms?

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:25 pm

      Thanks! Simply a variety of mushrooms. I;ve heard they aren’t particularly common in America and are quite expensive in a number of regions – they are, however, cheap here 😀

  14. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge
    January 2, 2012 at 5:56 pm


    This looks really delicious. I was given a cookbook as well and will be making and ‘hopefully’ be posting from it soon. Like you, the holidays have robbed me of the time and desire to blog… Back soon.
    This was a great 2012 start!!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      May it be a good one! I don’t think I really lost the desire actually, just sort of forgot 😀

  15. Hot Pink Manolos
    January 3, 2012 at 3:39 am

    Mmm…beef bourguignon always seems like it would just be so warm and comforting, and makes me think now of Julia Child. I might have to give this a try.

    Happy New Year!

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Oh totally! If you do, please let me know how you got on!

  16. fauxchef5
    January 3, 2012 at 4:56 am

    This looks delicious and simple. I will have to try this for the meat eaters in our family. Thanks!

  17. Corina
    January 3, 2012 at 9:15 am

    This is one of my favourite beef dishes. Definitely agree about not wasting a good wine in cooking and the cheaper cuts of beef are so much better for slow cooked stews.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:18 pm

      It’s probably my favourite – it’s simply stunning.

  18. sb
    January 3, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    I’ve wanted to try making this ever since that movie Julie and Julia and I think is actually on my bucket list! Good to know that I don’t need to use the best cut of beef and the best wine.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      I’ve not seen it. Perhaps I should as a food blogger :D.

  19. whilehewasout
    January 4, 2012 at 7:40 am

    This definitely fits into my new year’s resolutions… right?! 😀 Thank you for the recipe and the mouthwatering pics!

  20. thecompletecookbook
    January 4, 2012 at 9:41 am

    Happy New Year – have an awesome 2012.
    I like the addition of rosemary and bay leaves to this every loved flavourful dish.
    🙂 Mandy

    • frugalfeeding
      January 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks, you too! I think they really give it such a full and wonderful flavour.

  21. growalabama
    January 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    That picture at the top is mouth-watering. 😀 This is one I’ll have to try. I also want to bake another St. Jean’s Tourtière before the end of February. Really hardy stuff.

    • frugalfeeding
      January 21, 2012 at 10:12 am

      Ah yes, do! I may have to do this again too, it was incredible.

  22. secondsandthirds
    March 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I like it! I’m going to try this recipe too! Never thought of serving it mash but that sounds great!

    • frugalfeeding
      March 22, 2012 at 8:34 am

      Oh mash works so well, it soaks all of the lovely wine juices up.

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