This afternoon we paid a visit to the lovely Tara from Paris Parfait. Always a warm welcome and her husband, David, always a great culinary surprise. Today he out did himself with the best boeuf bourguigon I've ever tasted. So deliciously filling I fell asleep on the sofa afterwards!
Have a go yourself, this is a traditional boeuf bourguignon by Peter Chapman at Le Bigon restaurant in the Pays de la Loire.
Warning: you need to start preparing 24 hours before cooking!
1kg chuck steak, cut into large chunks
1 large carrot, chopped roughly
1 large onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves crushed in their skins
1 bottle robust red wine
10 black peppercorns
1 tblsp Maderia
Beurre manie (1tsp flour and 1tsp butter mashed together)
1 tblsp butter
1. Put the pieces of beef in a large glass bowl and add the next seven ingredients making sure that the beef is covered. Cover the bowl and allow to marinate for 24 hours.
2. Take the meat out of the marinade and dry it thoroughly on kitchen paper. In a casserole heat a tablespoon each of oil and butter until the butter stops foaming and then add the meat pieces four at a time.
3. Brown them over a high heat on all sides – they should look really crusty almost like a steak – and then take them out of the pan and add the next four, until you have a pile of fragrant beef.
4. Add the drained vegetables from the marinade to the casserole and brown those too and then pour in the wine marinade. Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer and pile the meat back in. The meat should be entirely covered by liquid. If not add a little beef stock or more red wine if you have a bottle handy, bring back to a simmer and place in a low oven (140°C) for three hours.
5. It is worth checking the meat every hour and if the level of liquid has dropped and the meat looks a little exposed, turn it over gently in the liquid. Even if the meat looks burned, don’t be alarmed and don’t add more liquid – you need the gentle reduction of the sauce and the darkening of the meat for flavour – if the pan looks totally dry, your oven thermostat has broken!
6. Towards the end of the cooking time, gently poke the meat with a fork – it is done when it starts to break apart when you do this.
7. Take the casserole from the oven and carefully lift out the meat into a warm dish and set to one side.
8. Strain the sauce into a clean pan and place it over a low heat. Allow it to come to a gentle boil. Add the Madeira and reduce until it tastes as strong as you like – the sauce should become almost syrupy. Whisk in the butter and flour mix and keep whisking until blended.
9. Add the meat back to the sauce to heat through and serve a couple of large chunks per person with the sauce poured over, scattered with chopped parsley.
Preparation time : 24 hours
Cooking time : 3 hours
Serves : 4