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Beef Bourguignon is the perfect dish for a cold day. This hearty and warming stew will warm you and fill you up.
We have been having some wild and windy weather the last few days. Yesterday the winds were howling round the house and the rain was lashing madly against the windows.
It was so wet the dog had to go without his evening walk. We would have both come back completely soaked and frozen. It was the sort of rain that soaks though coats in seconds finding any gap and leaving you wet. The dog got a longer walk the next morning to make up for it.
On wet days there is nothing nicer than a warming stew, filling the house with lovely smells while it cooks and coming out of the oven to be eaten with mash or chunks of crusty bread. It is a great way to fill you up and warm you. You can draw the curtains and listen to the weather howling outside and know you are safe and warm.
I had a bottle of red wine so decided I was going to make a classic Beef Bourguignon.
Beef Bourguignon is one of those dishes that has lost favour these days but used to be found on every pub menu. It brings back memories of bistros with red checked table cloths, candles in Chianti bottles flickering at the table and menus scrawled on blackboards. I am not sure why it dropped out of favour but it should definitely make a come back.
When cooked well it is a classic warming dish with a great depth of flavour. The best recipes use red wine and no stock which imports a deeper depth of flavour to the dish.
Admittedly it takes a while to cook, but if it is wet outside you are not going to want to go out anyway. What better way to spend a wet day that cooking in a warm kitchen.
A classic Beef Bourguignon should be served with a red wine. This gave me the chance to play with the Vacu Vin wine aerator that Boswells recently sent me. This novel gadget is placed on the top of a bottle of wine and has been designed to allow wine to flow slowly into a glass. This allows it to take up extra oxygen whilst it flows and is meant to enrich the taste. It is also quite fun to pour the wine and watch it flow though the aerator. When used with a young wine like a Cote de Rhone or Australian Shiraz it should help to remove the taste of tannins.
In the interest of testing I tried a glass poured with the aerator and a glass poured without. To be fair they were small glasses. The glass with the aerator had a less strong after taste and the wine tasted richer. It was subtle but there was a definitely improvement. The wine aerator would definitely be a talking point at parties; you could have fun trying the taste test with your guests. It is only £7.49 so if you like a nice taste to your wine worth the investment.
The wine was the perfect accompaniment to the beef bourguignon and was the perfect end to a wet cold day. The family enjoyed it and it disappeared really quickly. For other ideas for cooking with red wine you could try roast beef with red wine which is a perfect Sunday dinner. Smoked Paprika and Red Onion Chicken is also a lovely mid week meal.
Beef Bourguignon Recipe
- 700 g braising steak
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions
- 1 heaped tbsp plain flour
- 425 ml red wine
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 springs thyme
- 225 g bacon
- 110 g mushrooms
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 275 F 140 C Gas Mark 1
- Add half the oil to the pan. Brown the beef until rich dark brown on all sides. Set aside
- Peel and chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan and soften.
- Return the meat to the pan. Add the flour and stir to soak up the juice
- Add the red wine slowly stirring all the time
- Add the herbs and transfer to a casserole dish
- Chop the bacon and mushrooms. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and cook gently.
- Add into the casserole dish
- Cook for three hours.