A great dish for a family supper or for a dinner party
I am one of those cooks who add a splash of this and a dash of that, but I have tried to be more exact in this recipe. However, it works well if you add a little bit more or less of any of the ingredients. Just make sure you use enough wine and that the liquid covers the meat in the pan.
This is just the best meal on a cold day. It is one that I am happy to serve to guests as it can be made in advance so there is no fuss when they arrive. I can just enjoy their company.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 kg of stewing or braising steak (2 1/2 - 3 lbs) cut into 1" cubes
1 package of lardons or 3 strips of bacon chopped into pieces
2 or 3 medium onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed or chopped finely
2 Tablespoons flour
One Tablespoon salt and some freshly ground pepper
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
stock cube (optional, but I like OXO)
- Heat a frying pan and add a little of the olive oil.
- Fry the bacon until browned and put it in a large casserole dish. I have a lovely, big Le Creuset which is perfect for this dish.
- Brown the beef in the frying pan, about 6 - 8 pieces at a time. Add more oil if necessary. Put the browned meat in the casserole dish with the bacon.
- Keep doing this until all the beef is brown.
- Soften the onions in the same frying pan and cook until golden brown (5 - 10 min).
- Add the garlic and cook for two minutes.
- Add 2 Tablespoons flour, salt and pepper and stir to make a paste.
- Add some of the wine to deglaze the pan, bring to the boil and pour this mixture over the meat in the casserole.
- Add the rest of the wine (I used 3/4 of a bottle), enough water to completely cover the meat and the stock cube (crumbled).
- Throw in the springs of thyme and the oregano.
- On the top of the cooker, bring the whole mixture up to simmering. (Do not allow to boil or the meat will be tough.)
- Now cover the beef mixture with a circle of greaseproof paper or foil, put the lid on the pan and put it in the oven at 150 C.
- Cook for 2 1/2 hours without removing the lid or peeking at it. (This is the hard part.)
- When it is cooked, remove from the oven and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Serve with pasta, jacket potatoes, new potatoes or mashed potatoes.
N.B. I made mine in advance and cooked it for 1 1/2 hours, then cooled and froze it.
When I wanted to use it, I defrosted it, added a little more water, then brought it to simmering point on top of the cooker and put it in the oven (covered as before) for another 1 1/2 hours. It was beautifully tender and moist.