Boeuf Bourguignon with Sourdough Dumplings

We don’t eat meat that often. But when we do, we check its provenance: Was it grass fed? What size heard?.. . Boeuf bourguignon is the king of stews and deserves to be treated so: when buying the wine for your boeuf bourguignon, do as Keith Floyd did, only use wine that you would be happy to drink. Most recipes for boeuf bourguignon stipulate only button mushrooms or shallots; I love vegetables so it would be remiss of me not to add more of them to this dish.

Serves 6

Boeuf Bourguignon
1kg shin of beef (jarrete (esp.)), cut into 4cm pieces
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
150g smoked back bacon, cut into 1cm strips
1 onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and squashed (cabriado (esp.))
3 medium carrots, 4cm pieces
3 medium parsnips, 4cm pieces
3 medium swedes, 4cm pieces
10 small chestnut mushrooms
10 small shallots
Sprig thyme
sprig rosemary
3 cloves
1 bay leaf
300ml water
400ml fruity red wine
100ml ruby port
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

Sourdough Dumplings
200g stale sourdough bread – crusts ‘n’ all
250ml milk
1 tbsp. flour
A handful of curly parsley
1 free-range egg, lightly whisked
Salt & black pepper

Butter for frying


For the boeuf bourguignon: Preheat the oven to 140ºC (fan).

In a large overproof casserole dish, heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Dust the beef in seasoned flour and brown in batches. once browned, remove the beef and set aside. Over a medium heat, add the bacon, chopped onion and the garlic. Stir and cook for 5 minutes before adding the carrots, parsnips, swedes and shallots. Continue to cook for 5 minutes allowing the vegetable to take on a little colour. Add the beef, cloves and the herbs before adding the liquids: water, port and wine. Stir and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to maximise flavour.

Cover and place the casserole dish in the oven for 2-3 hours until the beef is soft and yielding. Check the seasoning and add the mushrooms 20 minutes before your end time. Serve with the dumplings and a sprinkle of freshly chopped curly parsley.


For the dumplings: in a mixing bowl, measure out the sourdough bread and break it up into small pieces. Mix in the parsley. In a small pan, bring the milk unto boil before pouring it over the bread and parsley. Grate in a little nutmeg and season to taste. Cover and leave to soak in for 15 minutes. Stir in the flour and egg until well combined. Divide the dough into about 12 dumplings – it’s always good to have leftovers. About 20 minutes before the finishing time of the stew, butter a frying pan and fry off the dumplings. Keep warm and add 3 dumplings to each dish before serving.


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