Beef bourguignon is French people’s favourite beef stew made from a lot of red wine, bacon bits, mushrooms, carrots, onions and aromatics. This version comes with a twist; it is Served on pasta instead of potatoes, Because why not?
Beef Bourguignon pasta or spaghetti is a “mashup” dish between France’s beloved ‘Boeuf Bourguignon,’ served with potatoes and Italian Ragu pasta. I like potatoes… but my husband does not so much… so he always asks me to make his boeuf bourguignon on pasta. I agree with him; pasta and a little extra parmesan give the dish a new dimension. The pasta soaks up all the goodness from the stew better than potatoes.
But either way, the base of the recipe stays the same; braised beef cubes in a dutch oven simmered in a red wine sauce. So you decide which pasta or potatoes makes you salivate more.
To add another dimension to the dish, I’ve had my little Spanish touch by making a “Picada” (*optional last minutes seasoning) with parsley, garlic and olive oil to give it this last kick. It’s a common thing to do to any stews in Spain, to add a little last touch. Sometimes they use almonds or walnuts, which give this lovely nutty touch to any stew and thicken it.
The Beef Cubes
The beef cubes I bought were pre-cut relatively small, about 2-3cm large, which isn’t ideal (in pictures); try to get bigger cubes of 5 cm, then when you’ll go in for a bite, you’ll see the tender beef cubes fall apart, and that experience brings so much more appeal to the dish. Also another important part is to season your meat well before cooking.
Tricks to Sear Like a Pro
- Make sure the skillet is hot enough in the beginning.
- Don’t overload the meat. Otherwise, the pan will cool down. Do two or even three batches if necessary.
- Resist the urge to touch! Leave the meat alone for a good minute, and watch the bottom slightly turning brown on its lower corner before turning.
Other Recipes for Winos
So let’s make that tender and aromatic beef stew the French cannot get enough of!
Beef Bourguignon Pasta
- 400 g beef cubes (4-5cm thick)
- 100 g fresh bacon (bits)
- 500 ml red wine
- 250 g button mushrooms (cut into quarters)
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 carrots (sliced)
- 1 onion (or 8 pearled onion)
- 1 garlic clove (finely chopped)
- 1 Bouquet garni ((eq. thyme, laurel, pepper, clove))
- salt and pepper
The Picada *optional (goes at the end of cooking)
- a few flat leaf parsley
- 1/2 a garlic clove
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- In a large dutch oven, bring to high heat.
- Season the meat.
- When hot, add the olive oil and beef, and sear each side of the beef cubes until light brown.
- When the cubes are almost done, add the bacon for a minute.
- Then cover lightly with flour over the meat and a touch more olive oil.
- Let cook the flour for a minute.
- Add the red wine and mix well making sure the bottom is well scratched with a wooden spoon.
- Add the onion, carrots, garlic, bouquet garni and bring to a boil.
- Cover and turn the heat to low (or in the oven at 170°C (340F°).
- Let simmer slowly for about 2 hours.
- Add the mushrooms 30 minutes before the end of cooking.
- Season with salt, pepper.
- *Make the optional “Picada” with all it’s ingredients in a mortar, add to the beef bourguignon 2 minutes before the end of cooking.