Beef in Red Wine (Boeuf Bourguignon)

I feel very French-inspired lately, as I was away in Paris the last week of April (and I was in Istanbul the week before that). And you cannot get more Parisienne than Rachel Khoo. Her Little Paris Kitchen cookbook is so cute, and I love it! This is based on both Rachel Khoo and Julia Child’s recipes.
This is my way of making a simple and fresh beef in red wine stew. I omitted the really strong flavours like the smokey bacon and the cloves, and the flavours of the beef, wine and shallots really came through! It’s quite light for a spring afternoon meal, so serve with lightly seasoned mashed potatoes, or have bread by the side for people to dip into the sauce.

Ingredients: (makes 4 generous servings)

750g of good stewing beef, cut into 6-7 pieces.
A few tablespoons of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper.
1 red onion, chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
2 carrots, chopped into chunks
10-15 small button onions or shallots, peeled and washed.
10 small brown/chestnut mushrooms, washed and cut in half.
A bunch of parsley stalks, tied with string.

1 glass of good red wine
1 tbsp of tomato paste
1 glass of warm water

In a spice bag/muslin:

1/2 tsp of black pepper, crushed.
1 bay leaf (or 2 small ones)
1 tsp of dried rosemary, heaped full
1 tsp of dried thyme, heaped full

Butter
Olive oil
A few leaves of parsley, chopped, to garnish
Salt and pepper to taste.

Preparation:

1. Lightly coat the beef with the seasoned flour, and tap of the excess.

2. In a stewing pot, heat 1 tbsp of butter on medium heat until you can hear it partially sizzling. Brown the meat in batches and remove onto a plate and cover so it won’t cool off too fast.
3. In the pan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add the whole button onions/shallots and brown for about 3-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon into a big bowl that can be covered.
4. After removing the onions, add in the mushrooms and brown for about 3-5 minutes. Remove and add them into the bowl with the onions.
5. Add another tbsp of butter, and heat. Scrape with your spatula the bits at the bottom of the pan. Add in the chopped onions and saute until translucent.
6. Add in the garlic and carrots, and cook for another minute.
7. Return the warm browned meat into the pot. Stir to coat the meat with the onion mixture. Add any juices that are in the bowl, the water, wine, tomato paste, parsley and spice bag. Stir.

8. Cover. And on low heat, simmer the stew for about 2 and half hours to 3. If your pot can be put into the oven, do so at a preheated temperature of 150 degrees C.

9. Once the meat is soft and tender, add in the reserved onion and mushroom mix, stir, and return to the heat/oven for another 10-15 minutes.
10. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the parsley, and serve.

Serving suggestion:

Here, I made a dumpling with the leftover seasoned flour, and I added it into the stew with the mushrooms and onions. And this is served with mashed sweet and normal potatoes.
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