Easy Melt-in-the-mouth Boeuf Bourguignon

When you have had a busy few weeks, there is nothing better than slow cooked comfort food to revive your senses. This boeuf bourguignon is ideal especially in chillier weather!

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Pot Roast Beef Brisket

Firstly, I completely failed to photograph this (must stop the Small Person playing on my phone and using all the battery!) but it was so delicious I wanted to write it up. Something I’ve failed at doing regularly recently but hopefully that particular corner has been turned and I’ll find some more time to devote to my blog again.

Ingredients

Joint of Beef Brisket (roughly 1.9kg)
Half bottle of red wine
300ml beef stock
3 carrots

The night before I chopped the carrots and put them in my stock pot along with the beef, stock and wine and let it marinade overnight. If you don’t have time to do this I don’t think it matters but I would recommend at least an hour or two if you can.

Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 4 and then place the covered pot in the oven for about 3 hours.

It really was that easy. As this was Sunday dinner, I also made my Yorkshire pudding batter first thing in the morning so when the beef was taken out, I turned the oven up to Gas Mark 7 and roasted my potatoes, parsnips and cooked the Yorkshires. All the juices from the beef and wine made a great gravy, I removed the carrots with a slotted spoon and poured off the juices before adding them to a roux along with an extra splash of the red wine I’d opened to accompany the meal.

Normally I like my beef rare, but slow cooked like this the joint was fall apart tender, still with plenty of moisture and really, really tasty. Definitely one that will stay on the roast dinner rotation!

 

Posh pork and rice

I’ve posted a posh chicken and rice recipe before. This time it is pork smothered in pate, wrapped in streaky bacon with a red wine and mushroom risotto. Or pork and rice.

I first found a red wine risotto on the agirlcalledjack blog and tried it a few times. I’ve amended, added and played with it a bit plus I’ve found it goes well with the pork used here.

Ingredients

Pork tenderloin
Tub of pate
Streaky bacon or pancetta
Butter
Onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves
Sliced mushrooms, roughly 150g
Thyme, leaves only
Arborio rice
Half a glass (ish) red wine
1l Vegetable stock

Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 5.

Lay out your pancetta or streaky bacon side to side on top of cling film until it is roughly the same length as the tenderloin, in this case the bacon was far too thick so I put it another layer of cling film on top and rolled it out slightly thinner. I would normally use pancetta but the Other Half failed to buy any so streaky bacon it was!

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To get an even covering of the pate (I used a tub of supermarket pate but if you can afford a better quality coarse Ardennes or similar that would work really well) dollop it over the bacon and again cover with cling film and attack it with a rolling pin!

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Remove top layer of cling film and place pork tenderloin along the bacon and pate, use the bottom layer of cling film to help you get this nice and tightly rolled. In an ideal world I would now fry this until browned but time was short so I hurled this straight in the oven for roughly 40 minutes, plenty of time to make a risotto.

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Here I used my mandolin to finely slice the onion and gently fried that off in a knob of butter. After 5 or so minutes add the garlic, stir well and continue to fry for a few more minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms and thyme leaves and cook until the mushroom have softened.

Make sure you have stock made up and keeping warm in another saucepan on a gentle heat.

I never measure out the rice any more, well I don’t measure most things to be fair, so work out by eye what looks like enough to serve three of us, I would guess its about 250g. Add the rice to the dish and stir well until the rice is coated in any oil and starting to turn translucent.

Turn up to a medium heat and pour in the wine. Stir until it has all absorbed into the rice, then add stock, one ladle at a time, until the stock is all used. Make sure that the stock is well absorbed before adding the next ladle, usually you are looking for the risotto to take a breathe before it flows into the gap your spatula has left.

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Once you’ve used all the stock, the rice should be cooked. You are looking for it still to have a little bite, I usually make the Other Half try it to make sure he is happy! I normally turn out the heat, add another knob of butter, stir well, cover and leave it to relax for a minute before serving.

Slice the pork tenderloin and serve with rice. Try to cut all the way through the outer layer of bacon before serving so that the pork and bacon doesn’t fall apart when you are trying to photograph it!!

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Seared steak salad

The Other Half treated himself to some steak whilst the small person and I were away. Luckily he bought quite a large piece of rump (oh-er missus!!) and saved some for us.

I spent quite a bit of time today deciding what kind of salad dressing to use and whether I should do something like a blue cheese sauce. In the end I decided it was bloody nice steak so I’d use the meat juices to form the basis of a dressing and I’d do glazed mushrooms instead of a sauce for the steak.

First of all I parboiled some new potatoes and then added some wholegrain mustard and butter to roast them off in the oven. Salad was very simple, a mixed leaf packet plus radish, cucumber, tomato and yellow pepper. I started the mushrooms off in butter in a frying pan and then added a healthy dollop of red wine and stirred occasionally until they were glossy and coated, finally adding a drop of tawny port (the Other Half doesn’t like this so I shall leave it out next time – if I hadn’t already picked the wine I would have glazed them with balsamic vinegar instead). Once everything was nearly ready, I used the frying pan I’d done the mushrooms in to cook the steak with some butter. Just over 3 minutes per side and 3 to rest.

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Whilst resting, I added some olive oil to the pan and a dash of red wine vinegar to make a salad dressing / sauce. It’s on my cheese salad for lunch tomorrow so I’ll see if it still works!

For wine, I was tempted by something called Garagiste (been saving it for ages) but someone much better at wine matching than me suggested a Primitivo. One of the many good things about the Naked Wines website is the sense of community and access to lots of knowledgeable amateurs, the Primitivo worked really well and as another plus, I’ve persuaded the Other Half to buy more steak next week to go with sauce and chips (plus that Garagiste!!)