Boeuf Bourguignon

Boeuf Bourguignon  
This takes some time but oh so well worth the trouble. See note at the bottom.
For 6 people

6 oz (170 gr) chunks of streaky bacon
Remove rind and cut bacon into lardon (sticks, ¼ inch thick and 1 ½ inches long). Simmer rind and bacon for 10 minutes in 2 ½ pints of water. Drain and dry. Preheat oven to 450º F. 230 ºC. Gas mark 8.

A 9 to 10 inch fireproof casserole dish minimum 3 inches deep 1 table spoon olive oil, Slotted spoon.

Sauté the bacon in the oil over a moderate heat for 2 to 3 mins to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with slotted spoon. Leave casserole aside.

3 lb (Approx 1.4 kg) lean stewing steak cut into 2 inch cubes
Dry the beef, it will not brown if it is damp. Reheat casserole dish until fat is almost smoking and sauté the beef few pieces at a time in the hot oil and bacon fat until nicely browned on all sides. Add it to the bacon.

1 sliced carrot1 sliced onion
In the same fat, brown the sliced vegetables then pour out the fat.
1 teasp salt1 oz (28 gr) flour
¼ teasp pepper
Return the beef and the bacon to the casserole and toss with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle on the flour and toss again to coat the beef lightly with the flour. Place casserole uncovered in the middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return for another 4 minutes. Remove casserole and turn oven down to 325 ºF. 170 ºC. Gas mark3.
1 ¼ pints of full bodied young red wine - e.g. Cotes du Rhone, Burgundy or Chianti.

¾ to 1 pint (±500 ml) brown beef stock 

2 cloves mashed garlic

1 tblesp tomato paste

2 teasp thyme 1 crumbled bay leaf

The blanched bacon rind

Stir in the wine and enough stock so that the meat is barely covered. Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind. Bring to simmering point on top of the stove. Cover casserole and place in the lower part of the preheated oven. Regulate heat so that the liquid simmers very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.
18 to 24 small onionsstock 1 lb (450 gr)
quartered mushrooms sautéed in butter
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions (see below) and mushrooms. Leave them aside until needed. When the meat is tender pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve placed over a saucepan. Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon to it. Distribute the cooked onions and mushrooms over the meat.

Skim fat off the sauce. Simmer sauce for a minute or two skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 1 pint (500 ml) of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly. If it is too thin boil it down rapidly. If too thick mix in a few tblesp of stock. Taste carefully for seasoning, pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables.

For immediate serving - cover the casserole and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes basting the meat and vegetables with sauce several times. Serve it in the casserole or arrange the stew on a dish surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice and decorate with parsley.

If serving later: When cold, cover and refrigerate. About 15 to 20 minutes before serving bring to simmering point, cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes occasionally basting with the sauce.

To cook the onions:

18 - 24 onions about 1 inch diameter3/4 oz (20 gr) butter

Non stick frying pan.1 tblesp oil
When the butter and oil are bubbling in the frying pan add the onions and sauté over a moderate heat for about 10 minutes, roll the onions about so they will brown as evenly as possible.
Then braise as follows:

¼ pint (125 ml) brown stock or dry white wine or red wine or water.

A medium bouquet garni e.g. 4 parsley sprigs, 1.2 bay leaf, ¼ teasp thyme all tied in a piece of cheese cloth.

Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour in the liquid, season to taste and add the bouquet garni. Cover and simmer slowly for about 40 to 50 mins until the onions are perfectly tender but retain their shape and the liquid has evaporated. Remove bouquet garni.
This recipe was sent to me by Hilary - Australia.

Note: This dish is quite a hassle to cook but my husband has more patience than I have and cooks it very successfully.  The result is certainly worth all the trouble he goes to, it is excellent. Fantastic for dinner parties.  Diane


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