Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Beef stew

I seem to have come across 'Beef bourguignon' every where I have looked lately and I guess it is one of those meals that you have to make at least once over the winter.
Well I didn't have all the ingredients for 'Beef bourguignon' so I just made a simple beef stew.  Really simple and no fluffy around.

For my recipe for beef stew you will need

  • approx 1kg of chuck beef steak ( I like chuck for slow cooking as it has great flavour and not too much fat)
  • 10 shallots or small onions (peeled left whole)
  • approx 2 cups of mushrooms (left whole)
  • 2 big carrots (cut in half and  then on the diagonal)
  • 3 large potatoes (cut into cubes)
  • 1-2 bulbs of garlic (divided into cloves and paper skins removed)
  • approx 300mls of red wine
  • approx 300ms of good beef stock
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • Italian parsley
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of quince jelly or something else sweet, sugar, red currant jelly, honey, if doesn't really matter what it is - something to balance out the flavour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of cornflour

Cut up the beef into cubes and fry gently in batches (medium heat) until caramelized in an oven proof pan. Add salt to the meat as you are frying.  I don't bother with coating in flour as it just seems to burn and make the stew taste yuk. 
Next remove the  beef from the pan and then put in the mushrooms, shallots and garlic and saute in the meat juices for a little while until coated with flavour.  Add a little splash of wine to deglaze the pan.
Remove and put aside until later.
Put the beef back into the pan, adding the wine, stock and 1 sprig of the rosemary and bring to the boil on stove top.  Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 200C.
Put the lid on the pan and put into the oven.  Let it cook at 200C for 10 minutes and then lower the heat to 170C.  You want the beef to be at a gentle simmer in the oven.  Cook for about an hour.
Pull it out of the oven and check it.  Give it a stir and top it up with water if needed.  Bring it back to the boil on the stove top before putting it back in the oven.
Give it another hour, the meat should be tender by now.
Add all the vegetables and the other sprig of rosemary and cook for another 30 minutes.
Pull out of the oven and taste for seasoning.  Do not add any salt prior to this except for when you were cooking the beef, because as the sauce cooks down the salt intensifies.
Take some of the cooking liquid out of the pan (about 1/2 cup) and add the cornflour, stir to combine and add back to the stew to thicken the sauce.  Put it back on the heat on the stovetop if need be.
Add the quince paste and lots of ground black pepper and the chopped parlsey.
We had bread rolls with it .

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