Braised beef in red wine
- Preparation and cooking time
- Plus cooling and 24hrs marinating
- More effort
- Serves 6
A hearty classic that tastes even better when made a day or two in advance
For the marinade
- 1 ½l (2 bottles) full-bodied red wine
- 3 medium carrots , cut into 2cm thick slices
- 1 celery stick, cut into 1cm thick slices
- 30 baby onions or shallots, peeled but left whole
- 9 garlic cloves , peeled but left whole
- 2 tsp black peppercorn , crushed
- 1 bouquet garni (made with a few parsley stalks, 4 bay leaves and 6 thyme sprigs, tied together with string)
For the garnish
- STEP 1
A day ahead, marinate the beef. Bring the wine to the boil in a large saucepan, then boil until reduced by a third to remove the alcohol (takes about 8-10 mins). Leave to cool for about 1 hr. Mix the beef steaks, carrots, celery, baby onions, garlic, crushed peppercorns and bouquet garni together in 1 or 2 large bowls, then pour the cooled red wine over them. Cover with cling film, put in the fridge and leave to marinate for 24 hrs.
- STEP 2
The next day, place a large colander over a large bowl and tip in the beef mixture to drain off the marinade. Leave for at least 1 hr to remove excess liquid.
- STEP 3
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Sprinkle the flour on a baking sheet and cook for 8-10 mins until it has turned pale brown. Set aside. Reduce oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2.
- STEP 4
Separate the beef, vegetables and herbs and pat dry with kitchen paper. Reserve the marinade liquid. Season the beef with 4 pinches of salt. In a large, heavy-based casserole over a high heat, warm the clarified butter, then colour the beef steaks in it for 5-7 mins on each side – in batches if necessary. (To clarify butter, warm it gently in a small pan. The white milk solids will sink to the bottom, then you can carefully pour off the clear, clarified butter.) With a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a plate and set aside. Add the drained vegetables to the casserole. Lower the heat to medium-high and cook for 5 mins until lightly coloured, stirring occasionally.
- STEP 5
Tip the toasted flour into the casserole and stir for a few secs. Pour in the marinade wine little by little, stirring constantly to incorporate it into the flour and until the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened. Add the beef and herbs, bring the sauce to the boil and skim if necessary. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 3 hrs.
- STEP 6
To finish the sauce, place a colander (big enough to hold the meat and veg) over a large saucepan and drain off the cooking liquor from the casserole. Put the saucepan on a high heat and boil until the sauce has reduced by about half to make a lightly coating sauce. Skim if necessary. Taste the sauce. Do not add any salt as you will be adding the smoked ham or lardons later. Return the beef and vegetables to the casserole, then pour over the sauce (discarding the herbs).
- STEP 7
For the garnish, heat the butter over a high heat in a large non-stick frying pan, then fry the mushrooms until lightly caramelised, adding a little more butter if necessary. Season to taste. Mix into the beef with the finely sliced ham or freshly fried lardons. Heat through, sprinkle with the parsley and serve piping hot.
The day before, or on the morning or afternoon of the party, you can cook the marinated beef to the end of step 6, then cool and chill until ready to finish off the dish.