The wind is howling and there is sleet rattling against the windows, we are being battered by, I think, the seventh storm this winter. This recipe seems like the most delicious culinary hug, perfect with some creamy champ.
Preparation time 1 hour + marinating overnight
Total cooking time, approximately 3.5 – 4 hours
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 large onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 sticks of celery, cut into large chunks
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
60 ml brandy
10 black peppercorns
A bottle of red wine, preferably from Burgundy
2 tbsp light olive oil
1 K shin of beef, cut into 2.5cm steaks
1 heaped Tbsp tomato puree
2 Tbsp toasted flour (see previous post)
400ml beef stock
30 baby onions, peeled (pour boiling water over onions and leave for 10 mins, they should just pop out of their skins)
1 Dsp sugar
150g button mushrooms
Salt and pepper
5 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
200g pancetta or smoked bacon lardons
2 slices good white bread, crusts removed, cut into triangles
A handful of parsley, finely chopped
* A bouquet garni is simply a small bunch of parsley and thyme, a bay leaf and some celery leaves wrapped up in a leaf of leek and tied with string.
Preheat your oven to 180c.
1.First of all, empty the whole bottle of red wine into a large saucepan, bring it to the boil over a high heat and allow it to reduce by one-third, should take about 15 minutes. let it get completely cold. Place all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl along with the beef and reduced wine, cover and refrigerate overnight.
2.The next day, place a large strainer or colander over a large bowl and drain off the marinade, allow all the liquid to drain off into the bowl below. Get some kitchen paper and dry the beef as best you can. In a large oven proof casserole dish, heat a little oil and butter. Toss the meat in the toasted flour and seal in the now foaming butter and oil over a moderate heat until nice and brown and crusty, do this in batches so as you don’t over crowd the pan, keep the meat to one side until it’s all done.
3.At this stage you can add in all the vegetables from the marinade, toss in the butter and oil until they start to take on a little colour. If you have any of the toasted flour left over, you can sprinkle it in over the vegetables, stir through. Now return the seared beef to the pan,gently pour in the marinade,tomato puree and stock. Bring to the boil and reduce to a bare simmer. Put a lid on the casserole and put it in the oven, reduce the heat to 120c, bake for approximately 3 to 4 hours.
4.Put the baby onions, a little bit of the butter, the sugar and a pinch of salt into a pan, add just enough water to barely cover the onions. Cook over a medium heat until all the water has evaporated, they have taken a nice golden colour and are tender to the touch. Fry off the mushrooms in some of the butter in a hot pan until cooked, season with salt and pepper and add to the onions. Fry the pancetta and crushed garlic in a little oil then add to the mushrooms and baby onions. Add the rest of the butter to the pan and fry the bread triangles until golden brown.
5. Once the beef is tender, remove with a slotted spoon and reserve. Strain off the vegetables , bouquet garni and discard. Return the sauce to the casserole dish, bring to the boil, reduce and allow to simmer for about 15 mins or until the sauce coats the back of the spoon. Return the beef, onions, mushrooms and pancetta to the casserole, check for seasoning. It might not need any salt because of the pancetta. Dip a corner of each crouton into the sauce, then into the chopped parsley. Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the beef and serve with the croutons on the side.
4 large potatoes, Kerrs Pinks or Roosters
300 ml milk
Bunch of scallions, washed, trimmed and sliced
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 180c
Wash and dry the potatoes. Stab them with a sharp knife(this stops them exploding in the oven) and cook until soft, usually takes about an hour. While they’re cooking, leave the butter out to come to room temperature. Pour the cold milk into a small saucepan and add the scallions. Put over a low heat and ever so slowly allow to come up to the boil, turn it off and allow to infuse. When the potatoes are cooked, gently reheat the milk. Scoop out the hot flesh of the potatoes and push through a potato ricer , mouli or just mash with a masher, you need to work quickly here. Add the hot milk and butter in increments, mashing as you go, add as much butter as you dare, season very well with plenty of salt and pepper. I have been known to sit down to this with a large spoon!