Any meat dish cooked with red wine and mushrooms can be called a 'bourguignon' and in 19th century France, both mutton and rabbit was cooked this way.
The quality of the dish depends on the meat rather than the wine, so to get the best results buy a single chunk of beef (it doesn't matter which cut) and cube it yourself rather than buying chunks of meat, because they are often a variety of different cuts which cook at different rates.
You can leave the bacon out if you find it too rich. This recipe takes two days, and makes the house smell wonderful while it's cooking. Start now and you'll be feasting Burgundy-style by the weekend.
Serves 6-8 people
800g of beef
100g bacon bits ('petits lardons')
1 bottle red wine
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
4-5 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic
250g mushrooms, wiped and chopped
1 bouquet garni (or dried mixed herbs)
salt and pepper
Trim and cube the beef, cut the onions into rough chunks, peel and chop the garlic.
In a pan, gently fry the onion and bacon in the butter (add a little more oil if it starts to burn) and then transfer to a cast iron casserole.
In three or four lots, fry the meat in the juices, and add to the casserole. Then soften the garlic and add that too.
Deglaze the pan with the wine and add that to the casserole, along with the mushrooms, carrots and bouquet garni.
Season to taste, and cover with most of the wine. Simmer over a low heat for two-and-a-half hours and set aside overnight. The next day simmer for two or three hours over a low heat, adding more wine as necessary, until the meat is tender. (The smaller you cut the cubes of meat, the faster they will cook.) Season to taste.
Serve with boiled potatoes, pasta or crusty French bread.
Stay tuned tomorrow for the next recipe in the series where we visit Corsica and try out its signature sunny, citrusy dessert.