There are lots of games going on at Realms Faire not just the unicorn one part of which was on this blog yesterday. The first day we had to cheer Alex on because he was fighting War. Each day there is fighting and jousting. I know the jousting is hosted by M. Pax. There are lots of prizes to be won so don't just sit back once you have checked out the unicorns. By the way, I had to get L. Diane Wolf to show me where the unicorns were.
I remembered a recipe I used to make quite a lot, once upon a time, and it was called Jarret de Boeuf en Daube. I knew exactly which cookbook it was in - only it wasn't. I was astounded and now I don't know which cookbook it came from. It was well before the age of computers. So, I looked it up online. First, I discovered, Jarret de Boeuf meant shin of beef. I didn't know that. Basically that just translates to stewing beef nowadays. Here is one of the recipes I found. This is an absolutely wonderful dish. Burgundy is not readily available round here unfortunately, so I recommend a good, full bodied, red wine if you can't find it. One thing I don't remember in the recipe I used to make, is the addition of tomatoes.
Boeuf En Daube - French Beef Burgundy in the Crock Pot
A delicious and heady combination of good red wine, prime beef, smoked bacon, dried orange, shallots, garlic and cèpes - dried forest mushrooms! A traditional French recipe with a twist - cook it in the crock pot for ease and convenience. Wonderful in the depths of winter, but equally lovely with
- 5 lbs prime beef, cubed and trimmed of fat
- 1 lb shallot, peeled
- 4 -6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped finely
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 2 -4 bay leaves
- 750 ml Burgundy wine
- 1 -2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb lardons, Smoked Bacon pieces
- 1⁄2 ounce dried cèpes, soaked for 1 hr
- 6 -8 pieces dried orange peel, see method
- 1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
- sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 -2 tablespoon cornflour (cornstarch), for thickening
- 2 tablespoons cognac
- 2 -4 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped finely (optional)
- 1 (8 ounce) can chopped tomatoes (optional)
- Marinade the beef with the herbs, shallots and garlic over night in the bottle of red wine.
- Drain and put the wine to one side.
- In a large skillet or frying pan, sear and brown the beef pieces over a high heat in the olive oil until nutty & brown. Do not overcrowd the pan!
- Place browned beef into the crock pot or cast iron Casserole Dish.
- Fry the lardons or chopped bacon pieces until crispy and golden brown. Drain and add to the beef.
- Brown the shallots and garlic in the bacon fat and add to the beef and bacon.
- Add all the other ingredients, except the cornflour, to the crock pot including the reserved wine.
- (Add the tinned tomatoes and sun dried tomatoes at this stage too if you are using them.).
- Cook on automatic or High for 4 hours and Low for up to 6 hours.
- (For conventional cooking - pre-heat oven to 175° C or 325° F or gas mark 3 and cook SLOWLY for approximately 4 to 6 hours; check towards the end, the meat should be extemely tender - you MUST not be tempted to cook it quicker, it will be tough!).
- Towards the end, blend and mix the cornflour with a couple of spoons of the stock in the crock pot and add to the beef, stirring well. It should not be TOO thick but just like a glaze or thickened jus. Add the cognac at this stage as well - stirring into the daube.
- Serve with Green Beans, Mashed, Steamed or Pureed Potatoes during the colder months OR with a selection of salads, crusty French bread and Pasta during the warmer months. The excess sauce can be used or saved as a fantastic gravy or stock later!
- THIS IS BETTER MADE 24 HOURS BEFORE EATING!
- Freezes beautifully - I always make a large batch and then freeze some.
- NOTE:If you cannot buy sun dried orange peel, make your own, it's VERY easy! Peel some oranges with a swivel head vegetable peeler or parer, be careful not to peel the pith. Spread outside on a rack in the full sun and leave to dry for about 2-4 hours. Weather permitting of course - otherwise dry in an airing cupboard or a very LOW oven overnight.Store in an airtight jar for up to 2 years.
- If you are really stuck - just grate some fresh orange peel into the daube, it will not have the same intensity as dried peel, but it will work!
Have a great day