April Recipe of the Month: Merlot & Boeuf Bourguignon

Our National Sales Manager, Donnie Claassen, is a real braai master and every month he’ll be creating a delicious recipe, cooked on an open fire, to pair with one of our Elgin Vintners wines. Although this is a traditional French recipe well known to be mastered and perfected by Julia Child, it is in essence a hearty and simple one-pot dish that is slow-cooked and served with mashed potatoes – extraordinary delicious comfort food at it’s best. Make sure to have enough Elgin Vintners Merlot in your wine selection as you’ll need some for the pot as well as the glass!


·        1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

·        170g bacon, roughly chopped

·        1.5 kg beef brisket, fat trimmed off fat and cut into 3 cm chunks

·        1 large carrot thickly sliced

·        1 large white onion, diced

·        6 cloves garlic, minced (divided)

·        1 pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

·        2 tablespoons flour

·        12 small pearl onions or shallots (optional)

·        3 cups Elgin Vintners Merlot

·        2-3 cups beef stock 

·        2 tablespoons tomato paste

·        1 beef bouillon cube, crushed

·        1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped

·        2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (divided)

·        2 bay leaves

·        500 grams fresh small white or brown mushrooms, quartered

·        2 tablespoons butter


1.     In a large heavy-based pot like a three-legged cast iron ‘potjie’, sauté the bacon over medium heat in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 3 minutes, until crisp and browned. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a large dish and set aside.

2.     Pat dry beef with paper towel; sear in batches in the hot oil/bacon fat until browned on all sides. Remove to the dish with the bacon.

3.     In the remaining oil/bacon fat, sauté the carrots and diced onions until softened, (about 3 minutes), then add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook for 1 minute. Drain excess fat and return the bacon and beef back into the pot; season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour, toss well and cook for 4-5 minutes to brown.

4.     Add the pearl onions, wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Then add the tomato paste, bouillon and herbs. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally, until the meat is falling apart.

5.     In the last 5 minutes of cooking time, prepare your mushrooms.Heat the butter in a medium-sized skillet/pan over heat. When the foam subsides, add the remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), then add in the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes, while shaking the pan occasionally to coat with the butter. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

6.     Add browned mushrooms to the pot, let simmer for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to combine.

7.     Garnish with parsley and serve with mashed potatoes and a bottle or two of Elgin Vintners Merlot