It's cooled down today, after some absolutely fantastic storms the last few days. The kind that wake you up, light up the sky for seconds and then the subsequent thunder that you can 'feel'. And apocalyptic rain. This means some time in the kitchen making a Beef Bourginon. Ok well my version it. Alright. It's a beef stew with wine.
Starting off I browned a red onion (brown, red, oh you know what I mean) and a load of quartered mushrooms. But I've gotten ahead of myself. I really started last night by marinating the beef cubes with two whole cloves of garlic that I'd leaned on and a couple of bay leaves, covering the lot with red wine and leaving overnight in the fridge.
Once the onions are sweet and translucent, and the mushrooms have given up some of their water, I tipped them into my slow cooker set on low. I then browned the meat cubes in some oil and butter after draining them, retaining the wine.
Once the cubes are browned, I tossed in another knob of butter and returned the wine to the pan making sure to scrape up all the nice bits on the bottom from the meat juices and onion sugars. That goes into the pot with 5 carrots cut into chunks. I've tried to keep the mushrooms and carrots a similar size to the beef cubes for aesthetics.
A teaspoon full of dried thyme, a new bay leaf and a sprig of fresh rosemary and it gets left to cook for about 4 hours. This type of food though is incredibly tolerant though. I'm making it for tomorrow for a relaxed chill out with the girls. When it was ready, I added a couple of handfulls of frozen silverskin onions and a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly. Casseroles and stews are always better the day after (as long as you store them appropriately of course). The flavours of the ingredients meld together making the whole greater than the sum of it's parts.
Sunday I put the casserole back in the slow cooker, brought it up to a simmer and stirred in a little Bisto Best beef gravy granules to thicken the sauce. I could have used a roux but I hadn't added stock so this gave the dish a bit more of a beefy kick.
It was delicious, served with extra crispy roast potatoes.