Monday, 2 April 2012

Boeuf Bourguignon

I haven't posted  recently because the weather has been so beautiful and we have had some work done on the outside of house  which then needed to be painted so our days off have consisted of nipping up to the allotment for a spot of weeding and checking the rabbits haven't polvolted onto our veg plot again !! and painting.

The last couple of days I have been hankering for Boeuf Bourguignon so I decided to cook it last evening.
I like many would be cooks, am a huge Julia Childs fan and have cooked Boeuf Bourguignon several different ways, but to me, hers is the best by far I have just adapted some things.
It takes alot of preparation and no rushing, the beef needs to be in the oven for at least 3 hours to benefit the full richness of flavour  and you will appreciate the effort that you put into the meal because you really get the individual flavours coming through from the onion,carrots mushrooms and subtle herbs.

So at 3pm in the afternoon I started cooking.

This recipe has been adapted from Julia Childs mastering the art of french cooking
Serves 6 people.

Boeuf Bourguignon

6 slices of free range streaky bacon cut into pieces
3lbs of lean beef for slow cooking
2 carrots sliced
1 medium sized onion sliced
2 tablespoons of flour
1teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.
1tablespoon of olive oil for cooking
3rd of bottle of red wine ( I used Bordeaux)
2 cups of beef stock ( I used kello organic beef stock)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
2 cloves of garlic
sprig of fresh time
1 bay leaf crumbled
18 small onions you can use more if you wish
1 lb of fresh mushrooms
knob of butter

For your braised onions
Knob of butter
Bouquet garni
Salt and pepper
1/2 glass of stock/wine/water

First put oven on to 220 C/425F gas mark 7

1.Place a hob friendly casserole dish on your hob and add olive oil once the oil is hot add the bacon and saute for 2/3 mins.
Then remove bacon from casserole dish onto a side dish.

2.Cut your beef into roughly 2inch cubes and add to the casserole dish which should be nice and hot.
Brown your beef in batches and add to your cooked bacon.
Once you have browned all your meat you can then add your sliced carrots and onion to the casserole  and saute until nice and brown.

3. If you have an excess of fat in pan drain a little off, then add your cooked bacon and browned beef in with the carrots and onion and season with salt and pepper.

4.Sprinkle on the flour and make sure that the beef is lightly coated.

5.Put casserole in middle of preheated oven for 4 mins remove  toss the beef and return to the oven for another 4 mins, this gives the beef a little crusty coating.Remove the casserole from oven and reduce heat to 160C/325F/gas mark3.

6.Add your wine and beef stock and make sure the beef is completely covered. Add your garlic, herbs and tomato paste stir and bring to a simmer on top of your hob. Place the lid back on casserole and return to lower part of oven and allow casserole to simmer gently for 2/3 hours (meat should be very tender at this point).

7.While the casserole is cooking, you can prepare your onions.

Place a small saucepan on a med heat and add your nob of butter and melt.
Then add your peeled onions whole , add either 1/2 cup of water or stock (I used some of the left over beef stock) , bouquet garni, salt and pepper.
And allow to simmer stirring occasionally for 40 mins, don't allow stock to dry out, add more stock if necessary.
You can do your onions well in advance and then leave to cool, remove bouquet garni.

8.Slice your mushrooms and in another pan add some butter and gently fry your mushrooms until soft and slightly brown in colour leave to one side.

9.Now Julia Child's recipe  when the beef is nice and tender would pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve over a pan and then washes out the casserole dish.
Then returns the beef and bacon.
 I skip that and just add the braised whole onions and mushrooms to the casserole give a quick stir and place back in oven for another 15 mins.

I served mine with mashed potato  some french beans, and crusty bread and  chopped fresh  parsley to decorate. You can enjoy this tasty casserole with traditional boiled potatoes and greens what ever you prefer.
Oh! and a Glass or two of French Red wine

Bon Appétit!

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