This beef bourguignon from Jamie Oliver gets its flavor from an overnight soak in red wine, a slow braise until tender, and the addition of plenty of mushrooms and bacon. No wonder our testers described it as the best they’ve ever tried.
When it comes to good food Jamie Oliver is at the top of my list. I find his cooking accessible, easy, and delectable. Never pretentious but always special. And this beef bourguignon is no exception. Yes, it has a long list of ingredients. And, yes, I’ll show up at your front door and read you the riot act if you pass on making it because of that. Come on, people!
The work you put into this incredible beef stew is so minuscule compared to the pleasure you and your family and friends will get out of it. Honest. And 99.999% of the time is hands-off. (Well, I exaggerate, but a lot of time is hands-off.) Do yourself a favor and make a double batch and freeze it. You’ll thank me. But instead of unrestrained gratitude, invite me to dinner. I’ll accept in a heartbeat.–David Leite
Jamie Oliver’s Beef Bourguignon FAQs
Can I make this ahead of time?
Absolutely. I encourage you to do so. In fact, when I make this, I often make it three days ahead of serving. Each day I heat it up, let it cool, then refrigerate it overnight. By the third day, the flavors have married and deepened. Incomparable.
What’s the best wine to make and serve this with?
Traditionally, the dish is made with Burgundy wine. Jamie Oliver also specifies Pinot Noir. But any full-bodied red wine will work here. Whatever you do, do not, repeat do not, use cooking wine. It’s anathema to good cooking and an insult to palates everywhere.
What is the difference between beef bourguignon and beef stew?
The big difference between classic French boeuf bourguignon and American beef stew is the addition of wine. The French love their vin, and love to cook with their vin, and this dish is no exception.
Jamie Oliver’s Beef Bourguignon
- 3 pounds beef cheeks beef chuck, or stew meat, trimmed and cut into 2-inch (5-cm) chunks
- 4 large (12 oz) carrots peeled and chopped into 1 1/4-inch (3-cm) chunks
- 4 stalks (7 oz) celery chopped into 1 1/4-inch (3-cm) chunks
- 4 cloves garlic coarsely chopped
- 1 medium (8 oz) yellow onion coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 4 fresh bay leaves or 8 dried bay leaves
- 1 small pinch of ground cloves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups red wine preferably Burgundy or Pinot Noir
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 oz) unsalted butter plus more if needed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cups boiling water
- 6 slices smoked bacon cut into strips
- 7 ounces shallots chopped
- 14 ounces button mushrooms halved or quartered
- 1/2 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
- In a large bowl, combine the beef, carrots, celery, garlic, and onion with the mustard, bay leaves, cloves, a generous pinch of black pepper, and the wine. Mix well, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF (163°C).
- Set a colander over a large bowl. Pour the contents of the beef bowl into the colander. Reserve the drained liquid.
- Place the flour in a medium bowl. Pick out just the beef and pat dry with paper towel, then toss with the flour.
- In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Working in batches, brown the floured beef all over, turning with tongs and removing to a plate with any crispy bits once browned. Add more butter if the Dutch oven becomes dry.
- Tip the vegetables into the Dutch oven, and cook until starting to caramelize, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping up any sticky bits. Return the beef to the Dutch oven, pour over the reserved wine from the marinating liquid and 3 cups (720 ml) of boiling water, then bring to a simmer.
- Cover with a scrunched-up sheet of damp parchment paper and transfer to the oven until the beef is beautifully tender, about 4 hours, topping up with splashes of water, if needed.
- In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, combine the sliced bacon, shallots, and mushrooms and cook the mixture until golden, stirring regularly, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Toss in the parsley leaves, then pour the contents of the skillet over the bourguignon and season to perfection, tasting and tweaking.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
Jamie Oliver’s beef bourguignon was perfection. The overnight marinade, the deeply caramelized beef and vegetables, and the long, slow cooking time developed such depth of flavor–so satisfying! Alas, beef cheeks were unavailable, but even my humble chuck roast cubes were silky and sinful in the rich bath of wine, bacon, mushrooms, and shallots. This is a perfect winter dinner party dish accompanied by mashed potatoes.
Jamie Oliver’s beef bourguignon is out of this world delicious and worth every minute of putting it together. Marinating the beef in wine overnight really brought out a wonderful flavour, and now I can’t imagine making it any other way.
The vegetables and the meat were perfectly tender. And the mushrooms, after cooking to a nice golden brown with the bacon, brought the whole dish together. The use of damp parchment paper instead of a lid is genius (I’ve never cooked that way before) and I can’t wait to try cooking other similar dishes using this method.
I served alongside silky mashed potatoes, soft buttery dinner rolls, and a bottle of Beringer Wine’s Cabernet Sauvignon. This meal did not disappoint and was perfect on a cold rainy night here on the West Coast. It was so good my boyfriend, who hates mushrooms, devoured it. Enough said.
“This is lovely” was spoken a few times as my better-half devoured this wonderful stew. It will likely be difficult to get beef cheeks as they tend be sold more to restaurants than the public, but a good stew beef from your butcher will be fine.
I used baby bella mushrooms as our markets do not sell button mushrooms except by the tin, and I prefer fresh. I doubt there is a difference in flavor. One spends about the same time prepping as actual hands-on time cooking the meal, so don’t be put off by the overall time. The slow braise provides a wonderfully tender beef that melts in your mouth. Served it with baked potato and some haricot verts, washing it down with Fess Parkers Big Easy (red blend).
I’m worried this is sacrilegious, but this may be the best beef bourguignon recipe I’ve ever made. So sorry, Julia! I’m not sure if it’s marinating the beef before braising or what, but the flavor is out of this world. And the bacon/mushroom/parsley topping – hold me. Some people may find it a bit greasy with the oils from the browned beef and the bacon in the stew, but grab yourself a baguette to sop up the braise and give thanks for meals like this.
Jamie Oliver’s beef bourguignon is a TC, no doubt. I like dishes that don’t need a lot of attention but the results are delicious. A perfect dish for the cooler weather.
Originally published January 20, 2022