Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Beef Bourguignon

It has been a busy few weeks over Christmas with lots of exciting things happening and catching up with friends. I am heading off to Ballymaloe Cookery School next Monday to start my training as a chef for 3 months. I am super excited and got to call into the school today to drop off my bags and baggage!! I am really looking forward to meeting lots of new foodie friends and getting really immersed in the kitchen. I will be keeping a diary of my experience so I will try to blog as much as possible - so long as the internet is alive down there  - so don't forget to keep updated with what I am up to.

Simon is on a weeks holidays at the moment so we are spending some time visiting a few friends and family around the country before we head off to Stockholm on Thursday for three nights. Wahoo!! Since Ireland didn't bring us much snow this year we thought it'd be nice to head somewhere really cold and enjoy the crisp, cold winter weather on offer elsewhere!

We spent the evening last night in my family house in Oysterhaven, near Kinsale with two friends of ours. We grabbed some nice pub grub and then came back to the house to enjoy a nice bottle of wine while playing cards in front of the fire as the wind battled outside. It was a lovely and relaxing evening, perfect for me still trying to fight off this cold!

We have now arrived to my aunt's house in Kilkenny for the night and on route to Dublin tomorrow we are going to stop by the lovely Lennon's restaurant in VISUAL Arts Centre in Carlow for lunch. The food is so yummy there so I'm really looking forward to it!!

2012 already seems to be becoming a year of eating for me!!

So...back to the recipe. I made this Beef Bourguignon for a dinner party we had on New Year's Eve. It is a very handy one to make for a big group and you can make it well ahead of time so you can enjoy a less stressed evening!

I love to serve this dish with some really creamy mash and a nice glass of a full bodied red wine. The perfect cosy dinner!

Apologies for the bad quality photo, I had forgotten my good camera and took this with a very old digital camera!!

Prep: 10 mins   Cook: 3 hours   Serves: 6-8 

1 kg diced stewing beef
250 grams pancetta or smoked streaky bacon
1 small onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely diced
350g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
50g plain flour
1 bottle pinor noir
3-4 sprigs thyme
450ml beef stock
1 tbsp tomato pureé
2 carrots, peeled & cut into chunks
12 shallots or pearl onions, peeled & left whole

Preheat the oven to 150C fan.

Remove any sinew or fatty bits from the meat and cut into chunks.

Heat a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook for a few minutes until golden and crisp on the outside.

Remove from the saucepan with a slotted spoon and place in a large casserole dish.

Quickly brown the meat in batches, in the oil from the pancetta. Do not overcrowd the pan, as you want the meat to brown all over but not to stew.

Once the meat is browned, remove each batch and add them to the casserole dish.

Heat another small amount of oil in the saucepan if necessary. Add the diced onion and cook for a few minutes until softened.

Add the garlic, mushrooms and thyme and cook for another few minutes.

Sprinkle over the flour, stir to evenly coat everything and cook for one minute.

Pour in the wine, stock and tomato pureé. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure the flour is mixed into the liquid to thicken the sauce.

Taste the sauce and season with salt and pepper as required.

Pour the entire mixture into the casserole dish. Add the carrots and pearl onions and stir to mix everything around.

Cover the casserole dish with a tight fitted lid and place in the oven for 2 -2.5 hours, stirring every 45 minutes or so. If the mixture is looking a bit dry, add more stock during the cooking process if necessary.

Remove from the oven and serve with some mash, boiled potatoes, rice or salad. 

1 comment:

  1. This looks hearty ! It's getting very cold here and the snow is not far away. These dishes are great for those cold winter evenings.Enjoy Ballymaloe . I look forward to reading your blog from there.