38. Heart-warming ‘boeuf bourguignon’ (with a touch of something Italian)

Home Cooking Made Easy p104

This is a dish which requires minimal effort and you can leave to cook for hours, then just finish up when you’re ready to eat. So it’s perfect for busy Mums, and was great for us having some friends over.

There are some moments in life when I could really use a sous-chef: cleaning out the sink drainer, emptying the bin, fixing me a G&T and peeling shallots.

I don’t know who invented shallots (I do actually), but they’re a fiddly pain to peel. Having said that, that’s hardly any other prep for this dish: just season beef chunks with salt and pepper and brown, brown bacon lardons, add chopped garlic, herbs, burgundy wine, marsala (that’s the “touch of something Italian) and stock and cook for 3 hrs in the oven. Meanwhile fry the shallots and some carrot slices and add these to the stew with some dried mushrooms half an hour before the end.

I served this with mashed potato and roast carrots.

The bourgignon dried out a bit, but that’s probably because my casserole lid doesn’t fit that well. It’s very easy to make, and has a rich tasty flavour. I know nothing about wine, so I was searching on Tesco online for “Burgundy wine” and nothing came up. It turns out Burgundy is a big area which covers several areas including Beaujolais – so that’s what I went for.

I’d be interested to try adding Rachel Khoo’s baguette dumplings, despite my previous rant.

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