Each region in France uses their own local red wine for this dish, so you don't need to use a bottle of Burgundy. Dumplings made from leftover baguettes make a great alternative to potatoes, as well as soaking up the juices from the stew.
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Total:
4 hr
Prep:
30 min
Inactive:
15 min
Cook:
3 hr 15 min
Yield:
4 to 6 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients

Boeuf Bourguignon: 
  • 2 pounds/900 grams beef shin or stewing beef, cut into 6 large chunks
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 1/2 ounces/150 grams lardons or cubes of smoked bacon
  • 10 button onions or shallots, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed flat
  • 10 peppercorns, crushed
  • 18 fluid ounces/500 milliliters red wine
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, stems and leaves separated, some leaves chopped, for garnish
  • Sprig of fresh rosemary
  • Sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 10 chestnut mushrooms
Dumplings:
  • 7 ounces/200 grams stale baguette or other bread (crust included)
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley
  • 9 fluid ounces/250 milliliters milk
  • Pinch of nutmeg 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • Butter, for frying

Directions

For the boeuf bourguignon: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F/150 degrees C/Gas 2.

Dust each piece of meat with flour. Heat the oil in a large casserole over a high heat and fry the meat in batches until browned. Remove each batch, keeping the oil, and then fry the lardons, onions and garlic in the same pan until golden brown. Add in the peppercorns, cloves, bay leaf, parsley stems, rosemary and thyme and return the meat to the pan. Add 10 fluid ounces/300 milliliters water, the wine, tomato puree, salt and sugar. Scrape up the caramelized bits as they will add flavour.

Cover, place in the oven and cook until the meat is tender and almost falling apart, 3 hours.

For the dumplings: Cut the baguette into small cubes and place in a bowl. Add the parsley. Bring the milk to a boil and pour over the bread. Stir so that the milk is absorbed evenly, and then cover and leave for 15 minutes.

Season the bread mixture with nutmeg, salt and pepper; stir in the egg and mix in 1 tablespoon of the flour. If the mixture is too wet (it should be moist and only slightly sticky), add a second tablespoon of flour. Wet your hands a little to help stop the dough sticking to them, and then make 12 to 14 dumplings (smaller than a golf ball).

About 20 minutes before the stew is ready, add the mushrooms into the stew and season with salt to taste.

Meanwhile, heat a knob of butter in a large frying pan and fry the dumplings on a medium heat until golden brown and crisp, 5 minutes; drain.

Garnish the stew with chopped parsley and serve with the dumplings.

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