Way back two Sundays ago, I decided to have Beef Bourgignon for dinner on Saturday evening.
I'd been holding a recipe for Bourguignon for the longest time, waiting until the stars converged - or alternatively, I had everything necessary in one place. Well, it so happened that (thanks to my Wine ice cubes) I had everything necessary, barring the beef.
Well that was easily fixed by a quick trip to the butcher for some Beef Shin.
Imagine my surprise when I saw, on the t.v., the latest M&S advert which was extolling the virtues of their Beef Bourguignon - made with "prime cuts of beef"! Having just made the dish with what (don't tell it, for goodness sake) could easily be described as "a very non-prime cut of beef", yet have the dish turn out so completely deliciously, made me a little scathing of their prime cuts.
Yes, beef shin does require a little knife work to remove the worst of the fat and gristle, but there really isn't all that much. Just ask Jonty & Basil - they would rather it contained much more fat and gristle, as they get to be the wagging dustbins into which it goes! It's just a shameless marketing ploy on their behalf, I reckon.
I put our Bourguignon into the oven for around two and a half hours, which had the pieces breaking up under knife and fork and requiring the minimum of chewing. Now if that's not scrumptious, I don't know what is.
Oh - and I expect it cost around the same, but for very much more. *smile*
BEEF BOURGUIGNON (feeds 3 hungry people)
1 tsp olive oil
700g diced beef shin
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
200g chestnut mushrooms
5-6 whole round shallots, peeled
225ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp dried thyme (or 2 sprigs, if fresh)
500ml beef stock.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180deg.
2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the beef, seasoning it as you go.
3. Remove, place into a warmed casserole dish to keep warm.
4. Melt the butter in the pan, add the onion and fry until soft (around 5 mins).
5. Add the whole shallots and garlic, cook for another minute, then the mushrooms, cook for another 2 minutes, then the wine and bring to the boil.
6. Stir in the tomato puree and let the liquid reduce for around 5 mins, then stir in the thyme and add the stock.
7. Pour the liquid into the casserole dish, cover and place into the oven for 2-2.5 hours or until beef is tender.
8. If necessary, pour gravy off into a saucepan and boil until reduced and syrupy. I found I didn't need to do this part, as the sauce was at perfect consistency.
Serve with Boulangere potatoes, curly kale cooked briefly in boiling water for 3 mins, and carrots.