Boeuf bourguigon (serves 6)

Staying in a classic French vein, this bears reheating and freezing.

200 g lardons (mild unsmoked bacon)
1 tb oil
1.2 kg lean stewing beef, cut in 50 mm cubes, dry with paper towels
1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tb flour
1 bottle full-bodied red wine
at least 500 ml beef stock
1 tb tomato paste
2 cloves garlice, crushed
1/2 tsp thyme
bay leaf
18 – 24 small onions, peeled
1 1/2 tb butter
1 1/2 tb oil
125 ml beef stock or wine
bouquet garni
400 g button mushrooms
2 tb butter
1 tb oil

In a large casserole saute lardons in the oil, remove with a slotted spoon. Saute beef, a few pieces at a time until browned on all sides, set aside. Brown the vegetables. Pour out the fat and return the bacon and beef, add salt and pepper, add the flour and toss lightly to coat. Put in 230’C oven for 4 minutes. Toss the meat and return for a further 4 minutes. (This browns the flour). Remove casserole and reduce oven to 165’C.

Add wine and stock to just cover the meat, add tomato paste, garlic, herbs. Bring to simmer on the stove, cover and return to oven. Simmer slowly for at least 2 1/2 hours. The meat is done when a fork pierces it easily.

Saute onions in butter & oil over moderate heat for about 10 mins until onions are evenly brown. Add braising liquid & bouquet garni, cover and simmer slowly for 45 mins until onions are tender but retain their shape, and liquid has evapourated.

Saute mushrooms carefully in butter, oil and a sprinkling of salt over a high heat, tossing frequently, for around 5 minutes. Remove them from heat as soon as they are brown, they should not give up any liquid.

Tip casserole into a sieve, wash out and return the beef and bacon to it. Add onions and mushrooms. Simmer sauce for a couple of minutes, skimming off the fat. There should be about 600 ml of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon. Adjust seasoning. Pour back into the casserole, bring back to a simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve with buttered noodles or potatoes.

Source: Julia Child ‘Mastering the Art of French Cooking’

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