Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Boing, Boing!

Just one more day of half-term for us today, thanks to an additional INSET day and for the first time in what feels like ages, the sun has been shining and not a single drop of rain has fallen 9crosses fingers, touches wood, etc.).  If you're in the UK and have seen any news in the last week, you'll know that this seems almost unprecedented for West Wales... Our house being up a hill, we've not had any trouble at home, but friends have seen the waters creeping worryingly up the garden and others have been stuck at home, or in cars, amidst rising flood water.  And this is JUNE, for goodness sake (shakes fist at sky).

Tonight's supper may seem more suited to winter weather, but as that's what we've been having, that is what I cooked... I did the wine reduction this morning, but you can do it a few days ahead, keeping the resulting brew in the fridge until you need it... this is very good to impress visiting in-laws, btw!

Beef Boing

This is my version of boeuf a la bourguinonne, affectionately known as 'boing' at Distracted Towers...

 For the cooking liquid:

75cl bottle red wine
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 stick celery, roughly chopped
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
garlic cloves, peeled and squashed a bit
pinch peppercorns
2 fresh bay leaves or 1 dried
few sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

Bung everything in a large pan and bring to the boil.  Carefully ignite with a long match to burn off the alcohol.  Wait until the (rather exciting) flames die down, then simmer for 15  minutes or so to reduce the wine a bit.  Strain the bits out and keep until needed (and see above)

For the rest:

4 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp mustard powder
salt and pepper
600g shin of beef , cut into large-ish pieces
2 tbsp cooking oil
25g butter
1 pig's trotter, split by the butcher
2 tbsp bacon fat (optional)
1 large onion, sliced thinly
8 large, flat mushrooms, quartered

A few hours before you want to eat, toss the pieces of beef in the flour, which you have mixed wituh the mustard powder and some salt and pepper (I find it easiest to bung it all in a big placcy bag and shake it about a bit).  Heat the butter and oil in a large pan.  Brown the piece of beef, then set aside.  Brown the split trotter and set aside with the pieces of beef.  Put the sliced onion and mushroom bits in the pan and cook, stirring while they soften and absorb the juices.  I like to stir in a couple of tablespoons of bacon fat at this point, but I always melt it down and save it when I cook bacon (perhaps another post, another time), so I have a jar in the fridge to use for cooking..  Return the beef and the trotter to the pan and pour in the wine liquid.  Cook for 2 hours at 140c.

I know it sounds like a lot, but it's actually not much work and it tastes soooooooo good.  Serve with mashed potatoes, or baked spuds, if you're lazy like me.  I like a big dollop of horseradish cream, too Enjoy!

Cath xx

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