Recipe – Boeuf Bourguignon

BOEUF BOURGUIGNON – for six people

8 oz  dry cured bacon / pancetta
Olive oil
4 lbs stewing beef
2 carrots (sliced)
2 onions (sliced)
1 pt red wine
¾ pt beef stock
1 tbs tomato puree
2 bay leaves
A spring of thyme
2 inch piece of dried orange peel
4 cloves of garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
About 30 small onions / shallots
1 ½ lbs quartered mushrooms

Remove rind from bacon / pancetta, cut into small pieces, sauté in a pan until golden. Put into a large casserole dish.
Fry off the beef to brown it in small batches using a hot frying pan and a little olive oil. Do not let the meat stew. Transfer to the casserole.

Toss the carrot and onion in a little oil and then add to the casserole too. Add the wine to the casserole. The casserole may be prepared ahead to this point. Allow to get cold, cover and refrigerate overnight. The wine will have a tenderising effect on the meat, and the other ingredients will add extra flavour as the meat marinades.

Bring the casserole to the boil, add enough stock or water to cover the meat, add in the tomato puree, orange peel, thyme, bay leaf and the whole cloves of garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer very gently either on top of the stove or in a low oven, 160 C/ 325 F/ Gas 3, for 1 ½ – 2 ½ hours, depending on the cut of meat used. Shin will take up to 3 hours.

Meanwhile cook the onions and mushrooms. Peel the onions, simmer gently in a covered saucepan with about ½ inch of water, they will take about 30-35 minutes depending on size. A knife should pierce them easily.

Toss the quartered mushrooms a few at a time in a little olive oil in a hot pan and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Keep aside. When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a strainer placed over a saucepan. Discard the herbs, and orange peel. Return the meat to the casserole with the onions and mushrooms. Remove the fat from the liquid. There should be about 1 pint of sauce.

Taste, bring back to the boil and simmer. Thicken if needed by whisking in a little roux. Pour the sauce back over the meat and eat!

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