As the cold, clear weather continues the lust for soups and stews rages on insatiably. Tonight it’s another canonical dish, Boeuf Bourguignon. This is loosely based on Julia Child’s time-honoured recipe, but is simplified for ease and clarity. It still turns out awfully good. We’ll be having it with some of the last of the season’s Brussels sprouts and a Patrick Lesec Costières-de Nîmes Vieilles Vignes 2007. This recipe serves six, and is usually better the second day if you have leftovers. I usually make a large batch and freeze it for lunches.
Preheat the oven to 140C
1.5-2 kilos stew beef, cut in 2 inch cubes
175-200g bacon lardons
Mirepoix: 4 carrots, 1 large onion, 3 stalks of celery, all coarsely diced.
500g dark-gilled mushrooms
1 bottle burgundy or other full-flavoured red wine
450ml beef stock
50g beurre manié (25g flour, 25g unsalted butter)
1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
1 sprig thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, crushed
18 small white onions or very small shallots
salt and pepper
Sauté chunks of bacon in a glug of olive oil at moderate heat for two or three minutes. Remove the bacon to a large mixing bowl.
Sauté beef, a little bit at a time, in the bacon fat until browned. Remove the beef to the bowl with the bacon.
Add the mirepoix to the pan and sauté two or three minutes. Add salt and pepper.
While the mirepoix is cooking, quickly make the beurre manie and coat the beef and bacon with it. Then add the meat back to the pan.
Pour in the wine and stock to cover the ingredients. Add small onions or shallots, garlic, parsley, and thyme. Bring to a boil.
Cover and bake for three hours at 140C
At the last, sauté the mushrooms in butter and stir into the stew.
Serve with boiled new potatoes.