Wednesday 7 January 2015

Cosy night treat - Beef Bourguinon

Beef Bourguinon is one of my favourite dishes.It's simple to make and is perfect for when you want a cosy night in; plus it tastes even better when its reheated a second time round. 

So, grab a spoon and get ready to tuck into this post; it's a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy.
This recipe is from Lorraine Pascale Home Cooking Made Easy which is possibly my most used cookery book, although I've adapted it slightly to my tastes. 

To get started you'll need:
  • 1kg braised of diced steak
  • 200g of bacon lardons (I like to trim a bit of the excess fat off mine though, sometimes you just get whole chunks of fat!)
  • Plain flour for dusting
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary 
  • 3 springs of fresh thyme
  • 300ml red wine, or 600ml of good quality, rich beef stock as a wine substitute 
  • 5 large shallots (I like to cut mine in half)
  • a handful of mushrooms, porcini, chestnut or closed cup - the choice is yours
Firstly, preheat your oven to 150 degrees and heat some oil in a saucepan before seasoning your beef with a bit of salt and pepper.

After seasoning you need to fry off your beef in several small batches, this locks in the flavour; and once browned, transfer the meat to your oven proof dish. I like to under cook my beef at this stage, just lightly browning it, so that it does the majority of its cooking in the juices. 

Once you've cooked all the beef, add in a dribble of wine whilst its resting. Now it's time to fry off the bacon lardons. Again I don't like to cook these too crispy as I like the flavours to adapt once the whole stew is combined. 

Once the beef and bacon are both browned off, sprinkle on the flour. This is an essential step as it acts as a thickening agent within the stew, making its juices all the more delicious. 

This is where I deviate slightly from Lorraine's wise words. After I've mixed in the flour so it dissolves, I then add in the shallots, mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, thyme and pepper. 

Then it's time to pour in your red wine, or beef stock pouring generously over the meat, then   put on the lid and pop in the oven for 21/2 hours. 

Once time's up, turn off the oven and open the door but leave the dish to sit for 30 minutes. This gives you enough time to steam some vegetables and make some mash. I love Bourguinon served on top of mash; its like a delicious volcano of goodness. Then all that's left is to tuck in. 

What are your favourite meals to cook in the winter? Do you have any recipes for me to try? 

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