Boeuf bourguignon with crêpes & watercress pesto
14th June 2011

Boeuf bourguignon with crêpes & watercress pesto

By Emma Photography by Emma

For all you out there who followed this year’s Masterchef New Zealand, this one is for you.  I followed the series like a diligent student, reporting on the show’s highs and lows, the tears and the elation as twelve hopefuls battled it out for the crowning title.  And whilst I diligently watched and watched and wrote and wrote, our faithful readers diligently cooked and cooked and submitted to us their finest recipes as they battled it out for brand spanking new set of pots and pans.

So I present to you the winning recipe, boeuf bourguignon with crêpes and watercress pesto.  This recipe was sent to us by Hope Smith from here in Auckland.  We liked it so much that we asked Nadia Lim, New Zealand’s newly crowned Masterchef winner, to cook it for us.  So a big thank you to Hope for sharing her recipe, and also a big thank you to Nadia for taking the time out of her hectic schedule to cook with us and to answer our probing questions about her time on Masterchef.


Serves 4
  • Boeuf bourguignon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 90g bacon, sliced into small cubes
  • 750g beef, cubed
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Watercress pesto
  • 75g watercress
  • 25g pinenuts
  • 25g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • Crêpes
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • pinch salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3/4 cup milk


  • Boeuf Bourguignon
  • 1. Cook bacon until crisp along with a drop of oil remove. Heat the remaining olive oil in a deep pan and brown the beef. You may have to do this in batches (depending on the size of your frying pan) so that the meat does not stew in its own juices, and instead browns nicely all over.
  • 2. Once all the meat has been browned, add the garlic and onion and cook until soft. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for a few minutes before adding the wine, beef stock and sugar. Season and simmer with lid on for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  • Watercress pesto
  • 1. Place all the ingredients into a processor and pulse until desired pesto consistency is achieved.
  • Crêpes
  • 1. Sift together the dry ingredients into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs and oil and then slowly whisk in the milk to form a smooth, thin batter. Add a bit more milk if necessary. Let stand for one hour.
  • 2. Grease a frying pan with a bit of butter and pour in approximately 3 tablespoons of batter, or enough to make a large crêpe. Brown on both sides and put on a plate in a warm over while you make the rest.
  • To assemble
  • 1. Place beef mixture down the middle of a crêpe and either roll them up or fold them in half as we did. Place a bit more of the beef mixture on top and then garnish with the watercress pesto and scatter with parmesan cheese.


  1. Nicky

    i would love to know what cut of beef you recommend for this dish. having grown up in a vegetarian home (but now clearly a carnivore) i often struggle with the topic of which cut of meat to use for what type of cooking. heeeeelp please.

  2. Emma

    Hi Nicky,
    It’s funny as I too struggle knowing which cuts of meat are suitable for particular cooking methods as we didn’t eat a lot of meat growing up. I picked gravy beef for this recipe which worked well. It is an inexpensive cut of meat which turns melt-in-the-mouth after long, slow cooking. You could also use blade, chuck and rump. I have found that in some supermarkets they now label each cut of meat with cooking information so this is a good way of learning more too.
    I hope this is useful to you.
    Happy cooking!

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