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Monday 30 Dec 2019    French Recipes and more!

*Recipe* Boeuf Bourguignon

Introducing our brand new feature - Plat du Mois! (Dish of the Month) We're diving in with classic Boeuf Bourguignon - perfect for cold winter nights!

We know you love to discover recipes along with us, so we thought we would kick off January 2020 with an absolute classic - Boeuf Bourguignon. A hearty, delicious, heart-warming beef stew packed full of flavour, this is the ideal recipe for cold wintry days and nights. 

We turned to Chef Cyril - who many of you will know - for his favourite way to create this cosy dish, and he came back with this recipe for you all to try. You'll want to be prepared for this dish by marinating the meat the day before, so plan ahead and everything will be plain sailing! 

As always with cooking, there are a lot of different ways to achieve the same ends - maybe you prefer a different method, or have a favourite recipe of your own, or perhaps you'd like to compare and contrast your tried and tested recipe with the one below! Cooking is a fun way to try out new things - a dash of this, a bit of that - and there is no "one way" to do things. It's your kitchen - you're the boss! We offer you this recipe as a place to start creating your own perfect home-cooked Boeuf Bourguignon, and we hope you'll enjoy it, so without further ado, let's cook!

Boeuf Bourguignon

Serves 4

• 1 kg of braising beef 

Marinade

• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

• 1 bottle of full-bodied red wine

• 1 tbsp. Cognac

• 1 onion

• 2 shallots

• 1 Bouquet garni - (thyme, bay leaf, parsley)

For cooking

• 135g of butter (this will be divided up as you go along!)

• 1 tbsp flour

• 2 cloves minced garlic

• 1/2 litre of beef broth (if needed for extra liquid)

• 100g lardons

• 15 small pearl onions

• 200g mushrooms, cleaned and halved or quartered, depending on their size

The Day Before

• Cut the beef into 5 cm cubes and place in a large bowl

• Baste the meat with the oil, then add the red wine and the Cognac.

• Add the finely chopped onion and shallots along with the bouquet garni, and season well with ground black pepper.

• Mix well, then cover everything with plastic film.

• Leave at the bottom of the refrigerator for 12 to 18 hours, turning the meat 3 to 4 times during this time.

Start cooking around 3.5 hours before you want to serve 

• Take the meat cubes out of the marinade and pat them dry, retaining the marinade - you're going to need it!

• Brown half the meat on a medium heat with 25 g of butter in a pan for 4-5 minutes, turning to brown all the sides of the meat. Lift out of the pan and put on a plate, then add another 25g of butter and repeat this process with the second half of the meat.

• Remove the second batch of meat from the pan. Pour off any remaining meat juices and save for later (they have a lot of flavour!) 

• Now add another 25g of butter to the pan and add the meat once again. Sprinkle with the flour and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes, turning to coat. 

• Strain the marinade, then pour on top of the meat until it just covers it. Add in the meat juices you saved, along with the bouquet garni and the crushed garlic, then bring to a boil for just 2-3 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

• Stir, taste and adjust the seasoning, then continue cooking for 1 hour 30 minutes. Again - stir, taste, and adjust the seasoning. You're the chef!

• Put 20g of butter into a small saucepan and cook the bacon until nicely browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate. Add another 20g of butter to the pan and add the pearl onions, cooking over a low heat for around 8 minutes until lightly brown. Lift these out too and keep aside. Finally, add the final 20g of butter to the pan and cook the mushrooms for around 4 minutes, until they start to brown and shine. 

• Remove the bouquet garni from the pan of Bourguignon, then add the bacon, the baby onions and the mushrooms into the sauce. If you would like to - though it's not obligatory! - you can add a carrot chopped into "half-moons" at this point. Continue cooking for a further 30 minutes.

• If your sauce is too thick, you can add beef stock as needed. Too thin? Turn up the heat until the stew starts to boil, then add a tablespoon of cornstarch to the mixture to thicken it up! 

Serve with steamed potatoes! 

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