"This is the dish that got me interested in French cuisine and technique. The most important thing is to take the time to caramelise every ingredient thoroughly, so the flavour is rich and deep – an important step to add to your repertoire if you are an enthusiastic cook!" Poh Ling Yeow, Poh & Co. Series 2
- 1 celery stalk, cut into 5 cm lengths
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 onion, quartered
- butter, for cooking
- olive oil, for cooking
- 1 kg chuck steak or gravy beef, cut into 3 cm pieces
- 600 g button mushrooms, halved
- 200 g French shallots or pearl onions, quartered (if large)
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 15 sprigs thyme
- 200 g thick slices speck or smoky bacon, cut into 5 mm-thick slices
- 750 ml (3 cups) red wine
- 60 ml (¼ cup) brandy
- salt and black pepper
- roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve
- 3 carrots, thinly sliced
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) water
- 1 kg Desiree potatoes
- 1 tbsp salt
- 50 g butter
- 100–125 ml milk
- salt and black pepper
- 18–20 baby carrots (2 bunches), tops trimmed leaving 1 cm intact
- 30 g unsalted butter
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 125 ml (½ cup) water
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Place the celery, carrot and onion in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
Place a knob of butter in a heavy-based saucepan and heat over medium until the butter starts to foam, then add a drizzle of olive oil. Working in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan, seal the beef well, stirring for 4–5 minutes or until all sides of each piece are golden brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add the mushrooms and shallots to the pan, adding more oil and butter if necessary, then cook, stirring for 4–5 minutes or until caramelised. Transfer to the bowl with the beef.
Add the chopped celery, carrot and onion to the pan with a little butter, a drizzle of olive oil, the bay leaves, thyme and speck or bacon, then cook over low heat for 5–6 minutes or until softened and translucent but not coloured. Return the beef, mushrooms and shallots to the pan and add the red wine and brandy. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes–1 hour or until the beef is tender, stirring occasionally to ensure the ingredients don’t catch to the base of the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To make the carrot puree, place the carrots in a small saucepan, cover with water, the cook, covered, over medium heat for 8–10 minutes or until the carrots are very tender. Drain, then puree with a stick blender or blender. Set aside.
To make the potato mash, place the potatoes and salt in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then boil for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Peel and push through a potato ricer or sieve into a bowl. Add the butter, then beat into the potato until melted and combined. Stir in enough of the milk to make a creamy mash; you may not need to use it all. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then cover and set aside until required.
To prepare the French carrots, place the carrots, upside-down, in a bowl of water for 10 minutes to remove any grit from the tops. Rinse with cold water, then place in a frying pan with the butter, sugar, salt and water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 6 minutes or until only a little of the liquid is left and the carrots are tender. Cover and set aside until required.
Stir the carrot puree through the beef bourguignon, then spoon onto a bed of mash. Toss the carrots in the pan so the juices coat the carrots, arrange on top of the beef and garnish with parsley, then serve.
Photography, styling and food preparation by china squirrel.
Poh & Co. 2 Thursdays at 8.30pm on SBS.
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