Cooking is in Anna’s blood. She loves it! She likes to feed people and see them happy. Her mum is a great cook and so was her grandmother when she was alive. So far Sam has liked everything Anna has cooked. Actually that’s a lie, we did the Avocado on Toast once and Sam is not true to her millennial self as she doesn’t like avocado. But hey, we can’t win them all can we hahahaha
As it’s cold outside and that time of year when a stew just seems right we chose to make this French Beouf Bourguignon. Beef Stew in other words. It takes time, some effort and lots and lots of wine. Anna once read that if you are cooking with wine don’t just buy the cheapest option. If you don’t like it to drink then you won’t like the spices of the wine in the cooking either.
- 2 large yellow onions
- 2-3 table spoons of tomato puree
- 1/2 kg or enough diced braising steak for 3-4 people
- 2 leeks
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 or 2 packets of small button mushrooms
- 15-20 or so shallots
- 1-2 teaspoons of thyme
- 1-2 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
- some butter to fry
- 1-2 bottles of red wine (such as a Burgundy or another full bodied red wine you like)
- parsley to garnish
- 1 large carrot*
- 1 small packet of pancetta or smoked bacon*
*Anna doesn’t use carrot or the bacon/pancetta in her beef bourguignon as she isn’t too keen on cooked carrot and finds the bacon/pancetta to overpower everything else. But should you love those things then go ahead and use them.
The Prep Work
This is the kind of dish that’s actually better on the second day. Anna recommends cooking this the day before you actually plan on eating it because like a fine wine, it matures with age hahahaha
The first thing you want to do is to cut the onion into wedges and fry that off then transfer that to a large casserole pot. Then slice the leek up and fry that up too in some butter. transfer that into the same casserole pot.
Searing the Beef
This may seem like a useless and unnecessary step but this is where the flavour is being made people! Searing the meat ensures a more flavoursome and mouthwatering taste in the end. When you sear the meat it actually caramelises the sugars and browns the proteins present in the meat. Cool huh!
We know it’s tempting to just chuck all the meat in the pan at once, DON’T. You don’t want to over crowd the pan. So if you have a lot of beef then remember, little by little not all at once. Set the pan on a high heat with some butter and make sure you get a nice brown crust on all sides. This isn’t where we cook the meat, that is done in the casserole pot later. We just want to sear all sides at this point and don’t forget to add some salt and pepper. Once you’re done transfer it all to the casserole pot.
Now you’ve done most of the prep work and most of it should be in the casserole pot we want to add the thyme, tomato purée, bay leaves and the wine. Enough wine to cover the contents, probably little over half the bottle.
You’re looking for it to look a little like this before you go ahead and put that lid on and let it cook for about 2-3 or so hours or until the meat is nice and tender. You’ll want to give it a stir every half hour or so to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. You may need to top up the wine throughout the cooking process.
We aren’t using the garlic, shallots and mushrooms until we are nearly at the end of the cooking process. When there is about 30 minutes or so left. But we can prep those now so they are ready to chuck in later.
Peel the shallots and leave whole. Fry them off a little and the same with the button mushrooms, leave them whole but fry them off a little. Set to the side for later.
When you have about 30 min left of cooking time add the shallots, mushrooms and 2 cloves of pressed garlic to the casserole. Give it a good stir and put the lid back on. If you think it’s not thick enough you can add some plain white flour (dilute this with a little water first though don’t just sprinkle it straight in) stir that in and the sauce should thicken up. Start with 1 table spoon and see how that works out. Anna usually serves this with rice but you can also serve it with mashed or pressed potato. Serve this in the casserole dish but don’t forget to add some parsley to garnish it making it look pretty hahahah
Hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this little winter warmer cosy casserole of a beef bourguignon and that it inspires you to make it yourself at home. Just remember, it’s actually tastier the day after you’ve cooked it so make sure you have some leftovers for the next day 🙂
Please do leave us a comment as we would love to hear from you and if you have any wonderful dishes you think we might like to try then share the recipe with us please 🙂
Until our next adventure,