DURING the winter months, I love to make the most of the consoling combination of cold weather and comfort food, particularly any dish that requires long and slow cooking. I can’t quite explain why, but there is something deeply therapeutic about nurturing a stew or casserole from start to finish.
When the weather is bad or if I’m feeling a bit glum, I long to be snuggled under a blanket with a good book and my hubby and puppy by my side whilst a pot of something yummy bubbles away on the hob, causing a heavenly aroma to waft through the house.
This particular recipe came in handy when we booked our most recent glamping trip – read more about that here. I wasn’t certain what the kitchen situation would be and so I thought it best to prepare this classic French dish in advance, ready and waiting to be warmed through and devoured with creamy mash and steamed green beans.
Cooking time: Approximately 3 hours
600g Diced stewing steak
100g Unsmoked bacon lardons
1 Large onion, diced
4 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Large carrots, chopped
150g Button mushrooms (roughly 1 supermarket packet)
1 tbsp Tomato puree
1 tbsp Plain flour
A small bunch of thyme
A sprig of rosemary
1 Bay leaf
1 Bottle of red wine – preferably a Burgundy wine such as Pinot Noir
1tbsp Olive oil for frying
A handful of chopped parsley to serve
- In a casserole dish, gently fry the onions and lardons over a medium heat. Add the beef and sprinkle over the flour.
- Once the beef is sealed and coated in the flour, add the garlic, mushrooms and carrots. Season with sea salt and black pepper and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir through the tomato puree and add the herbs.
- By this point, your mixture will be sticky and the bottom of the pan coated – do not panic! This is all great flavour and will aid in thickening the stew. If you feel it is beginning to burn then simply add 100ml of water.
- It’s time to add the wine! Of course you can use the whole bottle but I prefer to pour a small (ish) glass for myself and use the remainder. Your pan should sizzle. Give it a good stir and cover.
- Cook over a medium/low heat for 2-3 hours or until the beef is tender, stirring occasionally.
- Once the wine has reduced and thickened slightly and the beef is soft and starting to fall apart, your boeuf bourguignon is ready to serve. Sprinkle over the chopped parsley and serve with your choice of sides.
Note: On this occasion, I cooked this dish entirely over the stove but once the ingredients are all in the pot, you can cover and place it in a 160 degree oven for 2-3 hours.
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