It is getting seriously chilly out there and there’s no better winter warmer than a hearty dish to share with your friends and family.
If, like us, the loose link you have to a celebrity chef is the swearing and sipping a glass of wine while cooking, this is the recipe for you!
We particularly like this recipe because:
1) even the less experienced of us can impress everyone (we swear: it’s ea-sy),
2) it can be made the day before as it’s actually even better when reheated.
What you need (serves 4):
- Goose fat (yes you can use olive oil or butter but we seriously recommend getting a jar of the stuff – it adds the French je ne sais quoi).
- Beef (ah, obviously!). Don’t go for premium sirloin but it is equally worth not penny-pinching as ultimately this will make the dish. Good quality braising steak or shin is a good option. Around 600 grams cut into large chunks.
- 5 shallots and 2 garlic gloves (peeled and sliced, if we must specify).
- About 20 (1 small pack) chestnut mushrooms (even if you’re not keen on mushrooms, add them anyway. They will melt into the sauce and add flavour).
- 1 pack of lardons (smoked if you want).
- 1 bouquet garni (now this is posh French for herbs. You can buy them ready made in what looks like a teabag, just remember to remove it from the finished dish before serving).
- 1 spoon of tomato purée (the fun bit is to squeeze it out of the tube!).
- And the most important: WINE. A full bottle of it (it will not taste strong, promise). Again, not a 1976 vintage but we would not recommend a cheap plonk as the taste of the sauce will depend on it. Go for Burgundy to be truthful to the recipe, or any full-bodied red could do.
- Season some flour with salt and pepper in a large container (with lid). Add the meat, put the lid on and shake.
- Use a large sauce pan that can go into the oven.
- Heat up 1 spoon of goose fat and fry the meat so it is brown all over (you may have to do this in batches, adding more fat if necessary).
- Leave the meat to the side and fry the shallots, garlic, mushrooms, lardons and tomato purée in the same pan.
- Add the meat back in, pour the wine over and add a glass of water (just so it nearly covers the meat). Put the magic teabag / bouquet garni into the liquid and bring to the boil. Scrap the bottom of the pan to get all the flavours going.
- Create a lid out of foil and make a hole in the middle so steam can escape off the pan. The foil should rest on the meat (not the top of the pan).
- Heat the oven to 150C (fan) or 130C (gas) and cook for 3 hours, checking from time to time that the sauce has not fully disappeared.
You can either serve when ready or reheat the day after, it is even better!
Perfect with tagliatelle, boiled potatoes that you mix into the sauce or venture into making a mash from scratch (it is not difficult: peel potatoes, boil them, drain, mash and add copious amounts of butter, cream and milk).
When you bite into a super-tender piece that melts in the mouth, it will all be worth it.
Let us know how it goes!