Edited with Kim Klassen's texture "minus 43", blended in soft light at 100% and texture removed from the food again.
This is for this week's Texture Tuesday.
Last Saturday I wanted to serve one of those slow cooked, rustic meals for dinner. I thought about what to do and looked through one of my most favorite cookbooks that I found a couple years ago in a sale.
This cookbook has all kinds of tasty meals from around the world, including France, Italy, Thailand and Mexico. The recipes are explained very well and it's easy to follow them (I think). The measurements are both in metric as well as what is used in the US. I especially like the French recipes, and on a cold night Bœuf Bourguignon seemed just right.
You need quite a lot of ingredients. However, once the prep time is over and you've started the meal, it's not as complicated as it might look. The best part is that you throw the entire thing into the oven and let it cook for two hours, while the most delicious smells wave through your house. This recipe makes 6 - 8 servings.
So, this is what you need:
- 8 tbsp (75g) flour
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3-4 lb (1,5 - 2 kg) beef chuck, cut into cubes
- 2 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 2 ribs celery, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 lb (500 g) thawed frozen pearl onions
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 bottle (750 ml) Burgundy or other medium-bodied red wine
- 1 can (28 oz / 875 g) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup (250 ml) beef stock
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1/2 lb (250 g) cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
In a shallow bowl, stir together 3 tbsp of the flour, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper. Turn the beef pieces in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. (I actually use way less salt)
Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Have ready a plate lined with paper towels.
In a Dutch oven or large, heavy pot over medium heat, sauté the bacon until it renders most of its fat, 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the paper towels and set aside.
Working in batches if necessary, cook the beef in the rendered bacon fat, turning frequently, until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Using the slotted spoon, transfer the beef to another plate and set aside.
Add the carrots, celery, yellow onion, pearl onions, and peppercorns to the pot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until the onions and carrots begin to brown, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the wine and deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to dislodge any browned bits. Stir in the tomatoes and stock and bring to a boil.
Stir in the remaining 5 tbsp flour and the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until the mixture has thickened, about 1 minute. Return the beef and bacon to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover, transfer the pot to the oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is very tender, about 2 hours.
When the stew is nearly ready, melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they release their moisture and become tender and brown, about 5 minutes.
This is the moment when I add something that is not in the recipe - a little bit of lemon zest finished salt, a present from a friend. It gives the mushrooms this tiny little bit of extra, it adds just a hint of lemon which always goes well with mushrooms.
Add the mushrooms to the stew just before serving. Divide the stew among warmed shallow bowls and serve at once. Enjoy!