Beef bourguignon

A classic winter recipe this one. Make it in advance and store in the freezer for a hearty meal over the Christmas period.

Ingredients

For the beef bourguignon
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 kg/2lb 4oz blade of beef, cut into large cubes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g/5½oz pancetta, cut into small chunks
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 50ml/2fl oz brandy
  • 500ml/18fl oz Burgundy red wine, or other red wine
  • 250ml/9fl oz beef stock
  • 1 bouquet garni made up of 2 bay leaves, 2 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs flatleaf parsley
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 150g/5½oz peeled baby shallots (or frozen button onions)
  • 200g/7oz chestnut mushrooms
For the mash
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 110g/4oz butter
  • 110ml/4fl oz full-fat milk
For the garnish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 100g/3½oz small pearl onions, peeled (or frozen button onions)
  • 100g/3½oz pancetta, cut into lardons
  • 150g/5½oz button mushrooms, stalks removed left whole
  • ½ bunch flatleaf parsley, finely chopped

Preparation method

  1. For the beef bourguignon, sprinkle the flour onto a plate and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Dredge the beef in the seasoned flour and set aside.

  2. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large, lidded frying pan and fry the pancetta for 1-2 minutes, or until golden-brown. Add the beef and fry for a further 4-5 minutes, or until browned on each side. Add the shallots and garlic and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until just softened.

  3. Add the brandy and slowly tilt the pan towards the gas flame, or light it with a match. Let the flames flare up and then die down. (Caution: keep your face and hair away from the flames. Do not leave unattended.)

  4. Add the red wine and beef stock and bring to a simmer. Add the bouquet garni, then cover and cook on a low heat for two hours, or until the beef is tender and the sauce has thickened.

  5. Heat the butter and remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the baby shallots or onions for 4-5 minutes, or until just golden-brown.

  6. Add the browned onions and the chestnut mushrooms to the beef mixture and cook for a further 20 minutes. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  7. Meanwhile, for the mash, cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 12-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

  8. Drain and return to the pan, then place over the heat for one minute to drive off any excess moisture.

  9. Mash the potatoes well, then add the butter and milk and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  10. For the garnish, heat the olive oil and butter in a small frying pan. Add the onions and fry until brown. Add the pancetta and fry until browned and crisp. Tip in the mushrooms and continue frying until the mushrooms are softened and golden-brown. Finish with the chopped parsley and set aside until ready to serve.

  11. To serve, divide the mash equally among the serving plates and spoon the beef bourguignon alongside, with the garnish on top.

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