Recipe of the Week - Beef Bourguignon

Cooking time 2.5 hours - preheat oven to 170C. Preparation time 30-40 minutes. Serves 4-6.

Serve with a lovely creamy mash or new boiled buttered potatoes with lots of fresh chopped parsley, along with some green leaf vegetables of your choice.

Ingredients
- 4lb Good quality braising steak cut into 1” dice. (shin of beef if you can find it)
- 8oz fatty bacon cut into strips
- 1 large finely chopped onion
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 1 bottle of good red wine
- 6 tbsp brandy (optional)
- 3 tsp tomato puree
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2oz butter
- 1lb peeled baby onions
- 1lb small button mushrooms
- 3-4 tbsp plain flour
- 6 tbsp veg oil
- Salt and pepper to season
- Chopped parsley

Method
1. Season the beef with salt and pepper and roll the beef in the flour, shaking off any excess.
2. Heat a frying pan and fry the pieces of beef in a little oil until light brown - do this gently so it doesn’t burn.
3. Put the beef into a casserole dish.
4. Tip out the oil from your pan and add a bit of fresh oil. Fry the chopped onions, bacon and garlic until soft and lightly brown.
5. Add the tomato puree and pour in about ¼ bottle red wine to deglaze all the sediments from the pan. Stir and pour the contents into the casserole dish with the beef, then pour the rest of the wine in from the bottle.
6. If it doesn’t cover all the beef, just top it up with a little water. Add bay leaves and thyme.
7. Bring to a simmer, place a lid on the dish and place in the oven for two hours.
8. After two hours, take a fresh pan with a little oil and gently fry the baby onions and mushrooms until brown.
9. Carefully take your casserole dish out of the oven and add the mushrooms, onions and brandy if using.
10. Place into the oven for a further ½ hour or until the beef is tender to your liking.
11. You may want to thicken the casserole to your liking, in which case, simply mix some cornflour with some cold water, stir gently and pour in slowly until the dish reaches the thickness you require.
12. To serve, check seasoning, remove the bay leaves and thyme stalks, stir in the butter and sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.