Beef bourguignon 

Moushira Abdel-Malek , Tuesday 23 May 2023

Beef bourguignon
Beef bourguignon


Serves 5-7



1.25 kg tenderloin beef (cubed)

1 onion thinly sliced

6-7 garlic pods (peeled, whole)

250-300 gm button mushrooms (fresh or canned; whole)

15-18 pearl pickling onions; whole (peeled, top tip hardly removed, stem intact)  

2 carrots (peeled, quartered lengthwise, sliced)

1/4 cup fresh tomato juice

1 cup dry red wine

2 chicken bouillon cubes

A handful of fresh parsley leaves (chopped)

Sprig of fresh rosemary

Sprig of fresh thyme

2 tbsp corn oil + 1 tbsp extra

30 gm butter or ghee

Salt (to taste) + pepper + ground cinnamon + grated nutmeg + 7 spices + 4-5 bay leaves



Heat a large cooking pot on high.  Add oil.  Lower heat to medium and add beef cubes.  Stir to sear and slightly brown.  Remove aside, with a slotted spatula on to an empty dish.  Add mushroom; (if fresh) and stir on high heat to fry and sear quickly; lest it releases waters.  When slightly coloured; remove aside with a slotted spatula; on to an empty dish.  Lower heat to medium.  Add the butter or ghee.  Add Rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, sliced onion and garlic.  Stir until onion and garlic turn slightly caramelised; over medium heat and herbs become aromatic.  Return beef to pot.  Stir with contents of pot; for a few minutes.  Discard sprigs of rosemary and thyme.  Add pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and 7 spices.  Stir until aromatic.  Add tomato juice, wine and chicken bouillon cubes.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.  Allow to slightly thicken; (approximately five minutes).  Add carrot and mushroom.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and lower heat to a minimum low.  Meanwhile; in a skillet, add extra oil.  When heated; add pearl onions.  Stir fry over medium-high heat.  Keep stirring until certain parts of the onions become golden brown; yet still shiny and translucent.  Remove with a slotted spatula.  Add to beef pot.  Add mushroom; (if canned; drained).  Gently combine all ingredients.  Bring back to a boil.  Cover and braise over very low heat, until beef is fork tender.  Check occasionally, during braising time; if any water is needed.  Add only hot water and in small amounts.  Taste for salt.  When done; remove away from heat.  Allow to rest, covered, for almost ten minutes.  Pour into serving dish.  Sprinkle parsley on top.  Serve at table; with mashed potato aside.

* A version of this article appears in print in the 25 May, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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