This Beef Bourguignon recipe produces a superbly rich and satisfying casserole, ideal for a dinner party or special family meal.
I cooked mine overnight in a slow cooker but it could also be done in a medium/low oven for around two to three hours.
900g best braising steak
4 tablespoons plain flour
80g rindless smoked or unsmoked streaky bacon, diced
1 med onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped
8 small shallots (baby onions), peeled
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
110g small dark gilled mushrooms
400ml robust red wine
400 ml beef stock
a few dashes Worcestershire sauce
Salt & freshly milled black pepper
<Begin by removing any grizzle or excess fat from the steak and then cut into 1 inch/3cm squares. Place the four in a bowl and season with salt & freshly milled black pepper. Mix well and then toss the cubes of beef in the flour to coat evenly. Shake off any excess flour and place to one side.
Heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large solid based frying pan. When the pan is smoking add just enough of the flour dusted beef to half cover the pan. Toss the meat regularly so as not to burn. Allow the cubes to take on a light crust and then remove with a slotted spoon to a large casserole dish or slow cooker dish. Repeat the process with the beef in stages until all has been browned adding a little extra oil as needed.
COOK'S TIP The meat must be browned in small batches over a high heat otherwise the pan will fill with juices and it will braise rather than fry.
Again in the hot pan with just a little oil, sauté the bacon tossing frequently until nicely browned and starting to crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to the casserole dish.
<Once more add a little oil to the pan and once hot, add the chopped onions, garlic and shallots. Fry gently tossing frequently until lightly browned and softened. Remove with the slotted spoon to the casserole dish.
Finally sauté the mushrooms in a little oil over a high heat until lightly browned. Remove with a slotted spoon to a separate dish. Set aside for later.
Add the red wine, fresh thyme, bay leaves and Worcestershire sauce to the casserole. Season with salt and freshly milled black pepper and stir well to combine all of the ingredients together. cover the dish with a lid and braise very slowly in an oven preheated to 275degF/140degC/gas mark 1 for around 2 to 3 hours. In the last 30 minutes of cooking, remove the dish from the oven, add the mushrooms and return the covered dish to the oven.
Once the dish is cooked, remove from the oven or slow cooker and remove the bay leaves and thyme. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
If using the crock-pot follow the manufacturer's recommendation for cooking time. I generally cook a beef casserole on low for 6 to 8 hours.
If the sauce is a little too thin, thicken with beef gravy granules.