Sunday, September 23, 2012

Boeuf a La Bourguigonne

I absolutely Love the classic French dishes made popular by Elizabeth David and Julia Child in the 1960's, The dishes I knew growing up in every French Bistro with Menus written on blackboards and wine by the Carafe and above all inexpensive, they are long gone, along with the typewriter.

I lived in France for a while and people talk about authentic French food, such nonsense these dishes are as old as the Hills and everyone cooks them differently, lets face it, these were peasant country dishes people who use what they have. This is my version which I learnt whilst living in France from Madame Duroc a wonderful farmers wife who cooked the best food I have ever tasted.
I start by taking the chopped shin of Beef  in cubes out the fridge an hour before I intend to cook. Seasoned well with Pepper not Salt and sprinkled with plain Four about a tbsp, and fry in a casserole dish at high heat in Olive Oil to Sear the meat adding colour, then take out and reserve on a plate.

Now add a chopped onion and fry, Stirring all the time as this softens add some large chunks of Carrot, and some smoked Bacon Lardons, keep stirring,as this begins to take on colour add the browned Meat and half a bottle of Red Wine, I used a Hermitage, marvellous, but any good Red will do preferably French. Now add enough Beef Stock, I made a proper Beef Stock with the Bones, to top up so everything is covered, I add a Bouquet Garni of Thyme , Rosemary and Bay tied with some string. bring to a boil, place the lid on top, and place in the Oven at 140c for 3 and a half hours.

After 3 and a quarter hours add some Shallots and button Onions to a pan of hot Oil and Butter and Brown shaking the pan constantly. Put them with the meat and give it a good stir.

About ten minutes later fry some Button Mushrooms and if you have them, Porcini in butter to give them colour Flambe in Brandy and pour the Mushrooms and residual sauce into the Casserole dish.

Give it another fifteen minutes take the casserole out the oven, season Generously with Rock Salt and sprinkle with fresh Parsley.

What a fabulous Rich dish, I served with Boulangere Potatoes and French Style Peas, Excellent.

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