Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon – a classic rich French stew with red wine, shallots and mushrooms. Delicious, hearty and so easy! Post sponsored by Marks and Spencer.
My first proper job as Art Editor was at Wine Magazine, a monthly consumer title. If you are wondering why you haven’t heard of Wine Magazine, well, that’s because it no longer exists. It’s legacy however is still everywhere – simply look for the International Wine Challenge badges on wine bottles.
After four long years at the magazine, I am no stranger to wine tastings – still, I was very excited to be invited to the Marks and Spencer Regional Food & Wine Pairings event.
When I took my seat at the table which was set with at least ten wine glasses, one per bottle, I was a tad overwhelmed. Still I felt up to the challenge – it’s not much of a hardship to taste wonderful wines, now is it?
Our tasting took us on a world tour, starting from England. English wines are relatively new to the scene but they certainly are making up for lost time having won 120 metals at this year’s IWC.
We started with Marksman English Sparkling Brut Blanc de Blancs (£21)– a delicious wine with balanced acidity and toasted brioche flavours. This would be just the right sparkle to start festive celebrations with, paired with seafood canapés.
The next wine was Chapel Down Lamberhurst Estate Bacchus (£14) – a delicious, very light and fresh tasting wine, perfect for sipping or pairing with Asian flavours.
I discovered a grape variety I had never heard before with the Spanish Castillo De Monteray Godello (£9.50) a beautifully crisp white made from 100% Godello grapes with a modern funky label. The Marquess del Romeral Reserva Rioja (£8.50) meanwhile could not be more traditional – a rich and mellow Rioja which would pair well with roasts and cheese.
The wines on offer from Argentina were Dominio Del Plata Terroir Series Malbec (£12.50) by Susana Balbo, a pioneer of Argentinean winemaking. Best enjoyed with grilled steak, or extra mature cheese it is a bit much for me! The Amalaya Torrontes Riesling (£10.00) is actually a blend of Torrontes with Riesling, crisp and zesty best enjoyed as an apperitif.
Wines from South Africa tend to be quite aproachable in price – like the Houdmond Pinotage (£12.00) which is actually good for sipping on each own or with grilled meats. Pinotage is really not my cup of wine, but the Paul Cluver Late Harvest Riesling is a revelation, a wonderful sweet wine which would be ideal for serving at the end of a festive meal with the pudding or cheese.
On to France and I discovered two wines that were new to me but absolutely on my wine list this Christmas. The Florent Rouve Viré-Clesse (£14.50) is a dry full bodied white – fruity but with mineral notes. Perfect for pairing with chicken or fish in creamy white sauces.
My favourite wine of the event was the Terre d’Ardoise Old Vine Carignan (a very accessible £10). I don’t normally drink red wine, but the Carignan is such a drinkable full bodied red bursting with ripe beries – perfect for pairing with a rich stew like the classic Boeuf Bourguignon… which brings me to my recipe.
Beef (Boeuf) Bourguignon needs no introduction – a classic rich French stew made with wine (lots of it!), lardons, mushrooms and shallots. It normally takes about two hours of slow cooking on the stove, but I have simplified the recipe for the slow cooker – minimum effort, delicious result!
Traditionally the shallots and mushrooms are added after the stew has been bubbling away for ages. With my method everything is added to the slow cooker at once – maybe not as authentic but less laborious as you leave your slow cooker to do all the work overnight.
You could skip all the browning, I admit there’s still a bit of work that needs to be done, but the stew won’t taste quite as nice.
HAVE YOU MADE MY SLOW COOKER BEEF BOURGUIGNON?
You might like these stew recipes
- Pressure cooker Guinness beef stew
- Pressure cooker Vietnamese beef stew
- Slow cooker Brazilian feijoada stew
- Tex-Mex slow cooker beef and sweet potato stew
Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
- 900 g | 2lbs stewing beef chuck steak cut into small cubes
- 2 tbsp plain flour (gluten-free flour, if needed)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 150 | 5.3oz button chestnut mushrooms or experiment with adding wild mushrooms
- 100 g | 3.5oz unsmoked lardon or bacon
- 100 g | 3.5oz mini Chantenay carrots, rinsed but left whole
- 10 mini shallots peeled, topped and tailed
- 1 large yellow onion peeled and finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 1 stick celery 1 bay leaf, sprig fresh thyme, 2 parsley stalks tied together with string (bouquet garni)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 600 ml |2 1/2 cups red wine such as a Burgundy
- olive oil to fry
- 1 tbsp butter to fry
- mash to serve
- Put the flour in a plate and season liberally with salt and pepper. Add the beef and toss in the flour to coat.
- Heat a tablespoon of ol in a large casserole and brown the meat, in batches, for 3-4 minutes. Do not crowd the meat in the pan as it will boil rather than brown. Transfer to the slow cooker bowl.
- Add the lardons to the pan and cook until the fat starts to melt.
- Add the onion, garlic and shallots and cook over low heat, stirring contstantly for 10 minutes until softened. Add the wine and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker bowl.
- Clean the pan and melt the butter. Cook the mushrooms and carrots over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add to the slow cooker.
- Stir the ingredients and add the bouquet garni. Cook for 8 hours on low. Remove the bouquet garni.
- Serve sprinkled with fresh parsley with mashed potatoes and crusty white bread.