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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Beef Bourguignon...or simply Beef in Red Wine Stew

This is for all those folk who have heard of this classic French dish but never attempted making it in their kitchens.  A nice and easy beef in red wine stew that is most rewarding from the time it's slow cooking in your oven as the aroma fills the house, to that first bite of the succulent tender meat. This is definitely a crowd pleaser and very, very easy to make...I want you to try it and let me know how it goes.
INGREDIENTS, serves 6 to 8
2kg Beef chuck (boneless), cut in 3cm cubes
500ml Shiraz
250ml Port
5 x Cloves Garlic, sliced finely
6 x Sprigs Thyme, keep a couple of sprigs extra
3 x Bay leaf, keep one extra
Olive oil
500g Mushrooms (caps), clean and leave whole
2 x Onion, diced
1 x Carrot, cut into chunks
500ml Beef stock
500ml Chicken stock (more if necessary)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 x tbsp Cornflour in 2 x tsp water
Parsley to garnish

Combine the wine and port with the garlic, thyme and bay leaf.
Place beef cubes into mixture and marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge or overnight
Remove beef from marinade and reserve aside. Using paper towel pat dry the beef then seal in a heavy pot with olive oil. Allow sealed beef to stand
In same pot add more oil and brown the mushrooms. Remove and allow to stand.
Reheat pot add more oil and add the onions and carrots and cook gently to soften slightly.
Add marinade to the pot deglazing as it heats up. Bring to the boil.
Place the beef back into the pot and over a high heat return it to the boil reducing the liquid by a half.
Now add beef and chicken stocks, making sure the meat is just covered in liquid.
Season with salt and pepper and adjust to taste.
Add the extra thyme and bay leaf.
Bring back to the boil then cover and place in oven at 180 degrees Celcius.
Cook for 1½ hours or until meat is tender.
Remove the meat from the pot and bring sauce to the boil on the stove top
Stir in the cornflour mixture to thicken sauce.
Return the meat to the pot
Add reserved browned mushrooms and stir well to coat all ingredients in the thick sauce. Simmer on low for a 5 minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve hot on a bed of rice or cous cous
If you can, it is best to use home made stock instead of the powdered kind. If not choose a good liquid stock instead, as the flavour ismuch better. You may choose to cook the dish entirely on the stove top, if so just use a really low hob. I have stuck to the traditional vegies in a bourguignon but you could always beef it up with other vegies too.
“Boeuf a la Bourguignonne (Beef in the Burgundy style): This is the stew of stews, an apotheosis of stew, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the watery, stringy mixture served up in British institutions. It's a rich, carefully cooked recipe which is served up on special occasions in French homes, and which appears without shame on the menus of high-class restaurants.”
Jane Grigson (1928-1990)
'The Mushroom Feast' 1975

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