Beef Bourguignon Pie is a lovely variation on this classic beef and red wine stew from the south of France. The rich stew is topped with semi-circles of crisp puff pastry and served with fresh French beans.
What is Beef Bourguignon?
Strictly speaking, it should be Boeuf Bourguignon, because this is a classic French stew. Bourguignon simply means a recipe from Bourgogne or Burgundy, a southern region of France. The beef is slowly cooked in red Burgundy wine with onions, garlic, bacon, and mushrooms.
This rich stew is full of flavour and a sensational dinner party dish. It is a recipe that has travelled from France to all parts of the world. It was made famous in the US by Julia Child, the US TV cooking teacher, author, and tv personality and in the UK there are recipes by Delia Smith, Jamie Oliver, and The Hairy Bikers to name just a few TV cooks and chefs.
Why make a Beef Bourguignon Pie?
You can eat the beef stew on it’s own but by adding the puff pastry, you make this rich red wine stew even more special. After all, who doesn’t love a pie! There are three different ways to serve Beef Bourguignon Pie:
- Make a large pie with a classic puff pastry lid.
- Individual Beef Bourguignon Pies made in individual pie dishes or soup bowls.
- Cook the puff pastry separately to make deconstructed Beef Bourguignon Pie.
Can you make Beef Bourguignon Pie in advance?
Yes, you can. In fact, a slow-cooked stew will be better on the following day, then simply make the pastry toppers and reheat the stew.
What kind of beef should I use in Beef Bourguignon?
I use beef shin or chuck steak. However, any stewing or casserole cuts would work well in this recipe. Beef cheeks are particularly good as they really render down and have a good flavour. Don’t use any quick cook cuts like sirloin keep that for grilling, roasting or frying.
What type of wine should I use?
Use a good quality red wine, something you would want to drink. Burgundy is the traditional choice for Beef Bourguignon and Burgundy is made with Pinot Noir grape, therefore any wine which is predominantly made from Pino Noir grapes is a good choice. Wines like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon are Pinot wines and widely available.
Can I freeze Beef Bourguignon Pie?
You can freeze the Beef Bourgugnon stew. Cool the finished stew and put it in a freezer-proof container. Freeze for up to 3 months, you can freeze it for longer but there may be some reduction in quality. Defrost the stew overnight in the fridge before reheating until piping hot.
You can also freeze the baked puff pastry semi-circles. I would recommend under-baking the puff pastry (pale golden brown) then reheating them straight from frozen at 200C for about 8- 10 minutes. Uncooked puff pastry freezes really well. The ready-rolled pastry rolls thaw in around an hour and can then be made into the pie toppers.
Beef Bourguignon Pie, Beaune and Burgundy
I thought I’d give you a little flavour of the Beaune, known as the capital of Burgundy Wines in the Cote d’Or department of France. I was fortunate to visit Beane a few years ago. We toured the famous Hospice de Beanue that once served as a charitable refuge for the poor, as well as checking out the food shops and taking part in a wine tasting.
How do I make the puff pastry lids?
Once the beef has been fully cooked you can tranfer it to a large pie dish roll out the puff pastry and cut to size. Bursh with egg and bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. You can also fill individual pie dishes or soup bowls with the cooked beef and cut individual puff pastry lids.
Deconstructed Puff Pastry Pies
I like to cook the puff pastry separately and serve the beef bourguignon on a plate with a crisp puff pastry semi-circle on top. Here’s how to make them:
- Roll out the pastry and use a small plate to cut 3 circles.
- Cut each circle in half and score a criss-cross pattern lightly into the pastry.
- Bursh with beaten egg and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown and puffed.
How do I serve Beef Bourguignon Pie?
This is a stunning dish, worthy of a restaurant (even though I say it myself) the Beef Bourguignon is rich and full of flavour and the deconstructed pie pastry is crisp, airy and light.
Because it is such a standout dish I serve the pie very simply with cooked green beans dressed with a little butter. Use any seasonal green vegetable that you enjoy. If you want something a bit more substantial, then serve with mashed potatoes as they will soak up the delicious sauce.
Beef Bourguignon Pie
- 1 kg beef shin or chuck steak cubed
- 1 1/4 tbsp plain flour all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 3 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 medium onions diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 675 ml red wine burgundy is classic
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tbsp sherry optional
- 150 grams lardons or streaky bacon cut into strips
- 200 grams button mushrooms halved
- 375 grams puff pastry
- 1 egg beaten
For the Beef Bourguignon
- Preheat the oven to 230C (210 c Fan) 450F
- Dust the beef in the flour, salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a casserole dish over a high heat, and brown half the meat. Remove and add another tbsp of oil before browning the other half.
- Remove the meat to a plate and add 1tbsp olive oil to the pan.
- Sauté the carrots, garlic and onions in the oil until the onion is translucent.
- Return the meat to the pan. Add the bay leaves and red wine..
- Scrape up the sediment from the bottom of the pan with a spoon to incorporate the flavours into the stew.
- Simmer over low heat with the lid off for 2 hours or longer if you have it. .
- An hour before serving add the tomato purée, sugar and sherry, if using.
- Just before serving, brown the lardons or streaky bacon in a frying pan once the fat begins to run, add the button mushrooms.
- Add the bacon and mushrooms to the beef stew and check the seasoning.
For the Puff Pastry Pie top
- Roll out the pastry
- Use a small plate to cut out 3 circles, then divide these in two.
- Place the puff pastry onto a non stick baking tray (or a greases and flourws baking tray) and lightly score a criss cross pattern onto the pastry lid.
- Brush with beaten egg and bake for 25-30 mnutes until the pastry is golden and puffed.