Saturday, 14 February 2009


Don’t try doing this at a moment’s notice. It takes a fair while but hopefully you’ll find it’s worth it. It also sounds complicated but it is actually just a lot of easy stages. This serves four.

900g/2lb chuck steak, cut into 5cm/2in cubes
500ml/17½fl oz red wine
100g/3½oz bacon lardons
1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, sliced
30g/1oz plain flour
30g/1oz tomato purée
250ml/9fl oz chicken stock
16 small shallots
300g/10½oz button mushrooms
50g/2oz butter
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh parsley, chopped
rice or boiled potatoes

1. Place the beef, red wine, thyme, bay leaf and garlic into a large bowl. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least two hours, preferably overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 160C/320F/Gas 3.
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon lardons and fry until crisp and golden-brown.
4. Remove the beef from the marinade. Reserve the marinade liquid for later. Add the beef to the pan and cook until brown on all sides. Remove the beef from the pan.
5. Add the onion and carrot to the same pan and fry for 5-6 minutes, until softened.
6. Return the beef to the pan and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
7. Sprinkle with the flour, stir well and cook for a further two minutes.
8. Add the tomato purée, stir to combine and cook for four minutes.
9. Add the wine marinade and the chicken stock and bring to the boil.
10. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for two hours.
11. Towards the end of the cooking time, melt half of the butter in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the shallots and fry for 10-12 minutes, until golden-brown all over.
12. In a separate frying pan, melt the remaining butter and fry the mushrooms until golden-brown all over.
13. Remove the beef casserole from the oven and carefully strain the sauce into a clean pan. Reserve the beef and vegetables. Bring the sauce to the boil and cook to reduce the volume by half.
14. Return the reserved beef and vegetables to the pan of reduced sauce and add the cooked shallots and mushrooms. Simmer for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
15. To serve, spoon equal portions of the beef bourguignon onto warmed plates. Garnish with parsley and serve with rice or boiled potatoes.

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