Food and Recipes: June 2014 Archives

I've posted this recipe before.  It's just about my favourite winter dish to cook.  It's labelled a stroganoff as it has paprika, and it's meant to have sour cream as well, however Alan's recipe doesn't really use the sour cream and in fact I actually forgot to add it in this time.  Oh well.  In fact with all the red wine it's more like a boeuf bourguignon.

No two stews are ever quite the same.  It depends a little on what's on hand and what needs using up.  But the core of it is much the same.

For this one I had a kilo pack of chuck steak, cubed; two 200g packs of streaky bacon, chopped; a bag of mushrooms, sliced; an onion, diced; several cloves of garlic, crushed; red wine, beef stock, flour, mixed spices, paprika, fresh thyme (leftover from all the other French stews that needed it) and a packet of cream of mushroom soup.  The sour cream didn't get used, and I also added in most of a packet of tomato paste.

Beef stew

Everything prepped

Beef stew

So find a plastic bag with no holes in it and mix up several tablespoons full of paprika, herbs, flour and the cream of mushroom soup

Beef stew

Give it a good mix

Beef stew

Then add all the beef into it and mix it all up so the beef is coated.

Beef stew

So here's the onion, garlic, mushrooms and bacon waiting to be browned (the beef is next to this too)

Beef stew

Meanwhile, you can chuck half a bottle of wine into the slow cooker (or more if you want), beef stock to cover everything (save some for deglazing pans too), the tin of tomatoes and a goodly dollop of tomato paste.  Turn it on to start warming up.

Beef stew

So browning the onions and garlic

Beef stew

And the mushrooms in a couple of batches

Beef stew

And the bacon in a couple of batches

Beef stew

And finally the beef

Beef stew

And chuck the whole lot into the slow cooker.

Beef stew

Set to high and go occupy yourself somehow for the afternoon.

Serve with some rice to soak up the saucy goodness.

Sadly I forgot to take a photo of the finished product.  But it was very yummy, and our dinner guests went back for seconds.

Coq au vin

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This is the second recipe from the Women's Weekly French Classics book.  It was a tossup between that and the cassoulet, but Stu didn't like the look of the cassoulet recipe as he said it needed duck fat and toulouse sausages.

So, the coq au vin.

First lay out the ingredients.  Chicken thigh fillets, bacon, mushrooms, spring onions (I don't think I had the right kind really, but didn't make too much difference), stock, wine, flour, tomato paste, garlic, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.

Coq au vin

Here's everything prepped (except the chicken that needed flouring, and the herbs that needed de-stemming)

Coq au vin

Firstly browning the onions a little.  Next time I'll try to find the more bulbous ones that were in the picture in the book.

Coq au vin

Because I was using the frypan for browning but a big saucepan for cooking, I just started chucking things in the saucepan when they were browned.  This is just the wine, I left the stock out so I could use it for deglazing later.  Also has the little bits of spring onion, tomato paste, garlic, bay leaves and herbs.

Coq au vin

Next we're browning mushrooms.  These little buttom mushrooms brown up nicely.

Coq au vin

Into the pot they go!

Coq au vin

Bacon!  Two packs of bacon! (done in a couple of batches)

Coq au vin

Chuck the bacon into the pot

Coq au vin

It's important to stay hydrated during the cooking process.  And if there's a bit of a bottle of shiraz leftover from the cooking, well it may as well be drunk, right?

Coq au vin

The chicken thighs get coated with a little flour

Coq au vin

And they get browned nicely in bacon fat :)

Coq au vin

Into the pot!  I used some stock to deglaze the frypan and chucked all that in too

Coq au vin

Then simmer away for about forty minutes

Coq au vin

The finished product.  Served with a little rice to soak up juices.  Not very pretty to look at .. but it was soooo good!  Super super tasty.

Coq au vin

Coq au vin

Loved this dish, but again, I'd probably halve the recipe so all the browning didn't take so long to do.

I actually thought about creating a whole new blog for this.  Well not this specifically, but for all the recipes in the Women's Weekly French Classics book I bought the other week.  Much like in Julie and Julia, but a lot less complicated!  But for now it can all stay in here.

The first recipe I made from the book was Boeuf Bourguignon.  We'd planned to make it on the June long weekend Monday night, but then we remembered we were already going out that night, so decided to do in Sunday night.  But this was while we were out shopping on Sunday afternoon and there wasn't going to be much time to slow cook it.  We decided to go ahead anyway, and invite people over to share it. 

The recipe is *huge*.  It called for 2kg meat!  So much food it wasn't going to all fit in the slow cooker.  So I decided to split the food into two.  One lot to be done in a big saucepan on the stove, and the rest in the slow cooker for leftovers.

So here's the starting ingredients.

Bouef bourguignon

Beef, mushroom, shallots (recipe called for small brown onions, this sufficed), bacon, garlic, parsely, thyme, bay leaves, butter, oil, wine, stock and flour.

Here's everything prepped (except the parsely).

Bouef bourguignon

So next we're cooking off the butter, onions, garlic, bacon and mushrooms.  The recipe said to cook until the onions browned, but there was so much stuff in this pot this wasn't happening.

Bouef bourguignon

Meanwhile, brown off all the chunks of meat.

Boeuf bourguignon

Since the recipe wanted the onions browned, when all the meat was browned I fried up the onions a little as well.

Boeuf bourguignon

So then you add some flour til it thickens, then the wine and stock.

Boeuf bourguignon

At this point I split the meat and the onion/bacon/mushroom mix.  Half into the slow cooker and half into the saucepan.  The slow cooker half was looking a little empty of fluids, so I added the rest of the bottle of wine and a bit more stock.

Boeuf bourguignon

So I cooked the stove version on as slow as the stove would go, which was still a pretty decent boil.  It was there for probably four hours.

And oh my!  It was amazing!

The onions had their bottoms kept on so they'd stay whole while cooking.  But that didn't quite work out.  The onions completely disintegrated, as did much of the meat.

The finished product, served with the parsely, and a some rice to soak up all the lovely gravy.  Doesn't look like much, but our dinner guests were pretty impressed :)

Boeuf bourguignon

We left the slow cooker version on low overnight, but probably should have turned it off earlier.  It still tasted great, but the meat was a little dry.  I'd topped up the liquids too before leaving it overnight, but they didn't really boil away, so it was a lot more watery than the stove version.

Boeuf bourguignon

I'd definitely make this again, but I'd halve the recipe and just do it in the slow cooker all one afternoon.

Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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