Is anyone else completely addicted to French Food Safari? In the lead up to my trip to France I cannot get enough of this show. By the end of each episode my mouth is watering and I have scribbled down a long list of dishes and places I just have to try while on holiday. Plus, there is something mesmerizing in watching Guillaume’s bear like paws churn out delicate raspberry tarts and souffles. It is très fantastique.
Feeling inspired, last weekend The Brooding Architect and I hosted a French themed soiree. We kicked off the night with mix champagne, cidre and charcuterie before moving onto the main event – Beef Bourguignon.
Beef Bourguignon is an excellent dish for a winter dinner party. It is hearty, warming and (most importantly) easy to prepare in advance so that you can relax with your guests. My recipe is based Guillaume’s Beef Bourguignon recipe from the Food Safari Cookbook.
(Serves 8 – 10)
- 1.5 kg stewing beef (I used gravy beef, which is beef shin with the bone removed, however chuck steak, rump or topside can also be used), cut into 6 cm X 8 cm chunks
- 3 carrots, halved lengthways and sliced
- 3 celery sticks with leaves, halved lengthways and sliced
- 1 leek (white part only), halved lengthways and sliced
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- 7 shallots, halved
- 10 thyme springs
- 7 bay leaves
- 300g speck, diced (if you can’t find speck, medium rasher bacon with a generous amount of fat can be used)
- 500 ml red wine, boiled briefly to reduce acidity
- 150 ml beef or veal stock
- 400g button mushrooms
- 1 bunch continental parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tablespoon brandy (optional)
- Extra olive oil and 50g butter for browning the beef
- 6 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 8 large potatoes, washed with the skin on (I used dutch creams, but desiree potatoes can also be used)
- 250 ml milk
- 100g unsalted butter
- Heat a generous glug of oil and approximately a teaspoon of butter in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in batches, adding an additional teaspoon of butter to each batch.
- Remove the final batch of beef from the ban, leaving the oil and butter, and add the carrot, celery, leek, onion and shallots. Saute for 5-8 minutes over medium height. The vegetables should be soft and beginning to caramelize. Add the speck and brandy (if using) and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Return the beef to the pan. Stir in the thyme and bay leaves. Pour over the red wine and beef stock, season with salt and pepper and cover with a lid. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to very low and cook for at least 1 hour (preferably 1 and a half hours).
- Meanwhile, prepare the carrot puree in a separate pan, by boiling the carrots with salt until just soft. Puree. (I used a food processor to puree the carrots, however you could use a potato masher or blender).
- To make the mashed potatoes, in a separate pan, boil the potatoes whole with salt until soft. While still hot, peel the potatoes with a small paring knife (use a tea towel to avoid burning your hands), return the peeled potatoes to the saucepan and mash finely. Stir the mash over medium height for 3 to 5 minutes to remove excess water. Gradually add the milk the mash. Stir in the butter. Cover mash with a lid or plastic wrap and keep warm.
- Add the mushrooms and carrot puree to the Beef Bourguignon and cook for a further 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Serve with the mashed potatoes, sourdough and a glass of red wine.