I remember making Julia Child’s recipe for Beef Bourguignon a couple of years ago. It was absolutely divine but truth be told, it was a wee bitty too consuming and pernickety for my liking. It took the best part of a day to make and there seemed to be an awful lot of putting things into the pot, then taking them back out, only to be put back in again but not in the company of such and such. Well, I’m sure you get the idea – fabulous results but it was a long trek to get there.
You’ll be pleased to hear that this recipe is much easier to tackle. The prep work is minimal and once an ingredient is in the pot, it gets all comfy cosy and stays there. The taste is in no way compromised – you still get the rich depth of flavour and the beef just melts in your mouth. In fact, I’d say this was definitely as good as, if not better than Julia’s labor of love.
600g stewing beef, cut into large chunks
200g bacon lardons
3 tbsps plain flour
350g shallots, peeled and left whole
350g chestnut mushrooms, left whole
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, sliced
2 bay leafs
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leave on stalks so they can be fished out later on
1/2 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp tomato purée
750ml bottle red wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dry fry the bacon lardons in a large oven proof pot or casserole dish until they start to go crispy, this should take around 3-4 minutes. Add the stewing beef in batches and brown all over. Once all of the beef is browned, dust over the flour and mix well. Now add in the minced garlic, carrots, mushrooms, shallots and tomato puree. Use a large spoon to mix everything together before adding in all of the wine, bay leaves, dried thyme and fresh rosemary sprigs. Again, mix well before seasoning generously with salt and pepper.
Pop a lid on the casserole dish and cook in a pre-heated oven for 3 hours at 140˚C. After 3 hours, remove from the oven and check that the beef is melt in the mouth and the vegetables are tender. Before serving, discard the bay leaves and rosemary sprigs and check again to ensure the dish is seasoned to your liking. This stew can be served up straight away or made the day before and re-heated. I served mines up with buttery mashed potato and it was out of this world.