"I cook with Wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food" - WC Fields.
When it comes to the kitchen, cleaning up is where my true talent lies.
Pull out any kind of jargon & i'm lost. Julienne this, Saute that. Huh? Fillet, fold & flambe' have me floundering. It's intimidating, a bit like wine.
So let's be straight about this. Make sure there is wine in the kitchen to ensure the words old mate WC Fields & the endless internet meme's created in tribute lead to good things.
This week the Tuesday Test Kitchen good thing is
Thought to originally be a peasant dish, this French classic rose to the heights of rich decadence as the heartiest of French casseroles. Slow cooked beef, wine, mushrooms & herbs together pace this dish into complex erogenous zones that I assume are known only to the French.
Take your time. Patience is the key here. Brown the meat well as it is crucial for flavour. Add the mushrooms late to ensure they don't overcook & remember to keep the heat low.
As they say 'a boiled bourguignon is a spoiled bourguignon'.
Ingredients: (serves 6 adults)
1kg chuck steak. cut into large cubes.
4 carrots. peeled, halved lengthwise & chopped.
6 carrots. peeled & chopped [carrot puree]
3 celery stalks. sliced into 0.5mm sliced. retain leaves.
1 onion. chopped.
6 shallots. peeled & halved.
1 leek. halved lengthways & cut into 0.5mm slices.
6 sprigs of thyme.
6 bay leaves.
300g button mushrooms. try to select the smallish mushrooms.
1 bunch flat leaf parsley. chopped.
350g speck / bacon. diced.
125ml extra virgin olive oil.
2 bottles red wine [1.5L]. 1 bottled of cheap [but drinkable] plonk. 1 x TN/13 Touriga Nacional
To start, pour yourself a glass of TN/13 Touriga Nacional.
Then, take a large heavy based pot or saucepan, add the oil & brown the beef to seal.
Retain the oil in the pan and add the celery, leek, onion, carrot and shallots.
Saute these for 5 to 7 minutes. Once the colour really pops, remove from the heat.
Add the beef and vegetables to a large stock pot.
Add the thyme, bay, speck.
Pour the cheap bottle of red wine into a small saucepan & bring that to the boil. Allow to boil for a minute or two so the alcohol reduces. Add the liquid to the large stock pot.
Top off with 1 cup [250ml] of TN/13 Touriga Nacional.
Bring the stock pot to the boil briefly then reduce heat & simmer for 2 hours.
Boil the 6 chopped carrots in heavily salted water. When just soft, puree with a mixer or blender.
Add the mushrooms & carrot puree.
A trick here is to add the carrot slowly & not commit to including the entire puree. Aim to find the balance of sweet & savoury.
Top up your glass of TN/13 Touriga Nacional.
Allow to cook for a further 12 minutes.
Garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley & serve with mashed potato & sourdough with salted butter.
Unsurprisingly, this dish often tastes better the next day so make sure you save some.