Updated: Jun 13, 2020
by Tamasin Day-Lewis from Tamasin’s Kitchen Bible (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Recipe featured on BBC Radio London with Robert Elms on Friday 12th May 2020
The better the beef the better the taste.
1.5kg/3¼lb chuck steak or stewing steak
225g/8oz piece of unsmoked streaky bacon (or use lardons)
1tbsp each of rosemary, thyme & parsley, finely chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1 bottle red wine
2 large onions, chopped
2-3 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, chopped
3-4 tbsp flour
4 tbsp Cognac or Armagnac
2 bay leaves
4 cloves of garlic
Stock to cover
45g/1½oz unsalted butter
225g/8oz button mushrooms, wiped & left whole
24 small shallots
A bunch of parsley, chopped
Cube the meat into large chunks, a good mouthful each. Chop the bacon into lardons. Roll the meat in the finely chopped herbs in a bowl & pour over half the olive oil & the red wine. Leave to marinate for 4-6 hours, turning the meat over a couple of times.
Pour the marinade into a jug through a sieve, leaving the meat to drain in the sieve. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil & sauté the bacon lardons over a medium heat, turning them as they brown & begin to crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon & throw in the onions, carrots & celery. Stir them to coat with oil & bacon fat & cook for about 20 mins until they begin to soften. Remove the vegetables to the plate with the bacon. Pat the meat dry with kitchen paper. Turn up the heat, adding a little more olive oil if you need to, & throw in the meat. Turn it to brown on all sides, then spoon over the flour & continue to turn the meat for the next 5 minutes.
Return the bacon & vegetables to the pot, pour in the Cognac & the marinade & stir everything in together well so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaves, the whole cloves of garlic & just enough stock to cover & return to a simmer. Then cover with a layer of greaseproof paper & a lid & cook on top of the stove at a bare blip of a simmer for 2½-3hrs or until the meat is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Every so often give the pot a stir & make sure the meat isn’t sticking to the bottom.
Heat half the butter in a pan & add the mushrooms, turning them over a high heat until their moisture begins to exude. Gently cook the button onions in the rest of the butter in another pan until they’ve softened & turned golden. Drain the cooking liquor through a sieve into a pan & return all the ingredients, including the mushrooms & shallots, to the big pot & keep them warm under a lid. Now reduce the cooking liquor by boiling it down, not too hard, for as long as it takes to reduce it by a half. Return the sauce to the pot & reheat gently until piping hot.
Also tasted on BBC London with Robert Elms on Friday 12th May...