Beef Bourguignon

Makes 4
Preparation time 40 minutes (plus marinading overnight)
Cooking time 6+hours at 150c/300f

Ingredients

1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 stick celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into large pieces
1.2kg beef cut into 4 (300g) pieces
50g bacon lardons
300ml red wine
300ml water
1 beef stock cube
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
1 tablespoon tomato purée
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons plain flour
Salt and pepper
8 sprigs of parsley chopped finely to serve

Preparation

  1. Weigh your piece of meat and work out how many portions of 300g it makes. This gives you an idea of the size you are cutting into. Cut the meat into thick, steak-like shapes because you are cooking and serving this as a single piece to each person. Put the steaks to one side.
  2. Put the onions, carrot, celery and lardons into a saucepan with the oil and 1 tablespoon of water. Put a tight fitting lid on the pan and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft and sweet but not coloured.
  3. Meanwhile put the wine, garlic, thyme, stock cube and bay leaves in a bowl. When the onions etc. are cooked, add them to the bowl. Stir well and season with salt and pepper and add the pieces of beef. Leave overnight.
  4. Drain the meat (keeping all the marinade) and pat it dry with kitchen paper.
  5. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a saucepan until smoky and then brown the meat on all sides. Put the browned meat into an oven proof dish and add the marinade to the pan, plus the water. Bring to the boil, adding the tomato purée and water, and pour over the meat. Cover the dish with tight fitting foil. Cook at 150C/300F for 5-6 hours or until the beef is tender.
  6. Carefully lift the meat portions out and put to one side. Pour the juices into a saucepan and wait for the fat to come to the surface. Using your fingers and thumbs, sprinkle the flour over the surface in a fine layer. Wait for a few minutes until the fat soaks the flour up. You can now stir this in and bring the sauce to the boil which will thicken the sauce and remove the raw flour taste. Repeat this if the sauce is still watery and there is still surface fat.
  7. Return the meat to the stew. You can now leave this for up to 24 hours covered in the fridge, before re-heating to serve. Re-heat in an oven proof dish covered with foil or on the hob very gently (do not boil or the meat will break up).

To serve press a small portion of potato mash into a ring mould to one side of the plate and top with a piece of beef. Spoon over some sauce with vegetables and allow the vegetables to sit around the beef.