Slow cooked beef, red wine, shallots and love. 4 major ingredients that make up an essential braise for winter. The Burgundy area in France is one of the countries most famous culinary regions, inspiration for this classic intense braise . Some may argue it should contain mushrooms, and those people can add them if they wish. This is how I was taught and now I offer it to you to prepare for the family before the chill of winter again leaves us for another year.
My suggestion is to serve it with pomme puree, made with lots of cream and butter sprinkled with a grate or 2 of fresh horseradish and snip or 2 of chives. Enjoy
Recipe serves 4
750 gr beef cheek, cut into a 4cm chunks
1 small onion
1 small carrot
1 stick celery
5 garlic cloves
200 gr speck, pancetta or streaky bacon
1 piece of orange zest
A few stalks of thyme
1 star anise
2 bay leaves
12 golden shallots
500 ml red wine, an affordable Burgundy maybe?
Beef stock to cover
Flour to coat
Sea salt and white pepper
A little oil to fry
Prepare the onion, carrot and celery into a small dice. Peel garlic and crush with the flat of a knife. Cut speck into 2 cm x 1cm batons. Add sea salt and pepper to your flour, then coat the prepared beef in the flour.
Heat a oven proof casserole dish or saucepan to a medium heat. Add speck and saute, this will render some fat. Remove the bacon, add the floured beef and brown well, then remove. Add diced vegetables, star anise and garlic, fry on a slow heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the beef and bacon back to the pan, turn heat up and then deglaze with a good splash of wine, scraping the base with a wooden spoon to remove the sediment. Add remaining wine and reduce by half. Add beef stock to just cover the beef, thyme, orange zest, and bay leaves. Bring to the simmer, remove from the heat and then place a circular piece of baking paper down on the contents then add a tight fitting lid. Place into a pre heated oven set at 140 *C. Braise for a minimum of 2 ½ hours.
Peel shallots and saute in a little butter until light brown, season with salt and then add to the braise. Return to the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the beef bourguignon from the oven and season the sauce to taste. Ladle out some of the braising juices and reduce to a more thickish consistency if desired.
- Braises benefit from the meat being quite large, not small and bite size
- Use a wine you be happy to drink as well, because you only need 500ml, you are left with a glass to sip on as you wait for this to cook.
- Adding the star anise will bring out the meatiness in this dish, and in fact any other rich meat dishes, This is from a major flavour compound of star anise called anethole.