Beef Bourguignon and A Happy New Year

I suppose the item on the agenda worth tackling first is the sudden moral rejuvenation of most inhabitants of the world. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is the year for which we have all been waiting, 2012 has finally dawned and one can say, with certainty, that resolutions will not be in short supply. Of course, I am not one to go in for such moral undertakings; it is an accomplished fact, or fait accompli, that 97% of all resolutions will have been thrust harshly into the cold within 72 hours of their formulation. Still, it’s the thought that counts. I suppose all that is left to say is: Happy New Year!

Once again, apologies must be made for my lack of activity; Christmas was spent with Katherine and the urge to blog never really found its way into my grey matter. However, work doesn’t start for a number of days and as such the intention is to rekindle my love for food; despite the fact that a good portion of my last 8 days on this earth has been spent in a kitchen. Indeed, my mother gifted me a rather interesting vegetable cookbook, penned by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and I intend to bring you some of his very best recipes.

For now, you shall have to settle for this rather delicious and imminently rich beef bourguignon, a classic French dish originating from the region of Burgundy, one of that country’s main wine producing areas. This dish isn’t necessarily going to be cheap, what is more important is that it is done economically. For instance, please do not use a good quality wine, it simply isn’t necessary – save that for drinking. Similarly, do not use a ridiculously expensive cut of beef; the cheaper cuts of beef will work far better in this dish. If these two simple steps are followed one shall end up with both a happy wallet and a delicious meal.

Beef Bourguignon

Serves 4

Ingredients:

• 500g stewing beef

• 2 rashers of smoked bacon

• 2 large onions, finely chopped

• 250g chestnut mushrooms, quartered

• 2 cloves of garlic

• 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped

• 1 tbsp thyme, finely chopped

• 3-4 bay leaves

• 1 tbsp tomato puree

• 500ml red wine

• 250ml water

• Olive oil

• Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 150C. Season the beef and fry in a large cast iron casserole pot until browned on all sides. When all the meat is browned transfer it to a bowl. Tip in the onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and mushrooms, cook in olive oil until browned. Return the beef to the pot, along with the red wine, water, bay leaves and tomato puree.

2. Place the lid on the dish and pop it in the oven. After 3 hours take the dish out of the oven and remove the lid. Place the dish back on the hob and cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes to allow the sauce to reduce. Season to taste and serve with mash or bread.

Cost: Assuming my previous guidelines have been followed, this meal should set one back no more than £7.50. This means that each portion should cost a rather reasonable £1.90 ish. How economical.

45 thoughts on “Beef Bourguignon and A Happy New Year

  1. Janis

    I am not the one to write down lists on how to overhaul my life this new year although I made a promise to strive for better dishes and photos, too. That’s not too ambitious, right?

    This dish looks so good, maybe I’ll try it out some time this year. I still haven’t done the cream cheese muffin which I said I will try months ago. It’s hard keeping up with you and your recipes!

    Happy 2012!

  2. Aimee@clevermuffin

    Hmmm… so buy your logic I’m best buying TWO bottles of wine, one cheap (for the food) and a good one (for me? don’t mind if I do). Well, Ok, you’re the boss! Happy new year, looking forward to many more of your recipe in 2012.

  3. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    This looks really delicious. I was given a cookbook as well and will be making and ‘hopefully’ be posting from it soon. Like you, the holidays have robbed me of the time and desire to blog… Back soon.
    This was a great 2012 start!!

  4. Hot Pink Manolos

    Mmm…beef bourguignon always seems like it would just be so warm and comforting, and makes me think now of Julia Child. I might have to give this a try.

    Happy New Year!

  5. Corina

    This is one of my favourite beef dishes. Definitely agree about not wasting a good wine in cooking and the cheaper cuts of beef are so much better for slow cooked stews.

  6. sb

    I’ve wanted to try making this ever since that movie Julie and Julia and I think is actually on my bucket list! Good to know that I don’t need to use the best cut of beef and the best wine.

  7. Pingback: Butterbeans: an introduction to frugal food « The Liberated Larder

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