It’s been a very hectic few days organising the new theme and trying to make it somewhat presentable to you lovely people. Why is it that when I have a few days away from my actual job, do I end up feeling busier?
Perhaps it’s running the blog, answering emails, writing recipes, going to the gym, cooking the recipes, photographing them, editing etc etc, but to be honest with you I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You’ve got to find something that you love to do and I’d much rather stay busy doing something I enjoy than find the need to ‘kill time’ and end up spending the day watching TV or films and lounging around in my PJ’s until dinnertime!
In fact it’s been quite some time since I’ve felt as though I’ve ‘wasted the day’ so I guess I’ll just keep going and continue to bring you these recipes.
Today it’s all about the slow-cook and the beef!
Whilst the weather here in the UK is barely improving I thought I’d find the time to bring you a real hearty, slow-cook classic recipe, Boeuf Bourginon (or Beef Bourginon as you’ve probably guessed!).
It’s a French classic and the ingredients will sing for themselves whilst they produce the most amazing smells from the kitchen.
That’s definitely one of the things I love about slow-cooking, you leave your home for an hour after placing the dish in the oven, then return to your home, open the front door and get hit with these delicious smells that make you hungry!
Most of the work for this dish is done in the preparation time. It’s perfect for a dinner party as you can do the work in the afternoon, focus on getting yourself and everything else ready and not be glued to the kitchen.
- 6 Smoked Bacon Rashers (cut into 3cm chunks)
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 750g Braising/Casserole Steak (cut into 3cm chunks)
- 6 Banana Shallots (peeled & halved)
- 2 Carrots (peeled & thickly sliced)
- 1 tablespoon Plain Flour
- 300ml Beef Stock
- 300ml Red Wine
- Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper
- 10-12 Button Mushrooms
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
- Handful of Chopped Parsley
- Heat a large casserole dish on a medium-high heat and add the bacon pieces. Fry for 10 minutes or until slightly browned.
- Remove the pieces onto kitchen paper to soak up any excess fat, then keep warm.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and increase the heat to high.
- Add the steak pieces and cook until browned all over, around 8 minutes, then set-aside and keep warm.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C (fan-assisted) or 170C (conventional).
- Next fry the shallot halves and add the carrots.
- Cook for 8 minutes until slightly browned, then remove from the heat.
- Take a tablespoon of the flour and add it to the casserole dish along with a drop of the red wine to scrape up all the bits from the fan.
- Pour the remaining wine into the casserole dish along with the beef stock, then put the lid on and bring to the boil by increasing the heat.
- Return the bacon and steak to the pan along with the bay leaves, mushrooms and herbs de provence.
- Season well, mix through and ensure that the meat is immersed within the liquid to avoid it from drying out.
- Place the lid onto the casserole dish and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling, place into the oven and cook for 2 hours 20 minutes, or until the beef is easily pulling away.
- After the time is up, carefully remove the casserole onto a hob ring at a fairly high temperature and remove the lid. This will help to reduce the liquid and make it into a sauce. Stir regularly.
- When you have a sauce-like consistency, sprinkle over the chopped parsley and serve.