Monthly Mystery Munchies #33: Bouef Bourguignon

I love a recipe that calls for an entire bottle of wine! February’s Monthly Mystery Munchies between myself and Ann from Grubbs ‘n Critters is beef and bacon, two ingredients synonymous with bouef bourguignon. It’s a mouthful – English please! Beef Burgundy is a traditional French stew that’s usually cooked in a Dutch oven. However, that’s one thing I don’t have, so let’s make another plan: Crockpot! Fry some ingredients, place in a crockpot (slow-cooker), and let it stew for 6-8 hours. Glory be!

I fried the first six ingredients in batches using the same skillet, transferred to the crockpot, poured an enormous amount of wine into it, with a hint of beef stock* and let is stew, let it stew, let it steeeew. Two hours before the end, I removed the lid to let the booze evaporate, and added the mushrooms an hour before the time was up. Y’all, I’m so into this recipe. The Husband said “I’m so glad this is February’s blog challenge”. He approves. My life is complete. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around, “happy wife, happy life”? Well regardless, this one was a hit!

To see what the lovely, dear Ann produced this month, please do yourself a favour and hop over to Grubbs n Critters. Also, if you’re into jokes, anecdotes about raising kids, and life in general, she’s your gal. This is our 33rd monthly recipe challenge, and Ann has really, impressively, stepped it up a few dozen notches. She uses interesting ingredients, she thinks ‘out the box’, and every month I eagerly await her recipe.

Bouef Bourguignon

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Supplies:

 

200g bacon, chopped
1kg stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons white flour
4 baby onions, peeled
8 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
500g baby potatoes, unpeeled and whole
2 teaspoons minced garlic
50g tomato paste
1 herb bouguet (3 bay leaves, 5 sprigs parsely and 5 sprigs thyme)
3 cups red wine blend
1 cup beef stock (list name)
400g white button mushrooms, cut into quarters
Salt and cracked black pepper for seasoning

Serving: 1 cup rice (white or basmati), or a baguette.

Making it Happen:

In your skillet heat one tablepsoon of olive oil on medium and fry the chopped bacon for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Don’t clean the skillet.
In the bacon juices, add another tablespoon of olive oil and on medium-high heat, place the cut beef into the skillet. You would probably have to fry the beef in two batches. Sprinkle one tablespoon of flour over the beef per batch. Seer the beef on both sides until lightly brown, about two minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
Deglaze the skillet with a quarter cup of red wine.
In another tablespoon of olive oil, add the garlic and fry the onions, carrots and potatoes for five minutes on medium-high. Add the tomato paste after four minutes. Set aside.
Fry the mushrooms until cooked. Cover and set aside for later.
Transfer all ingredients into the slow-cooker. Start with the beef and bacon at the bottom, then add your onions, carrots, and potatoes.
Pour in 750ml/3 glasses of red wine plus one cup beef stock. Add the herb bouquet, season with salt and pepper. Do not stir.
Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes. Adjust heat to low and simmer for another 7.5 hours. Two hours before the end, remove the lid. One hour before the end, add the mushrooms.
Do not stir.
Serve with rice (I used basmati), or a baguette.

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Monthly Mystery Munchies #32: Wild Mushroom Risotto

I really feel like I’m one with the earth, getting in touch with my roots by using wild mushrooms in this risotto. That’s this month’s Monthly Mystery Munchies theme, and I chose wild mushrooms because I lurve them. These are different from the ones I ate when I was a teenager. Kidding? Before this recipe, I had made one risotto a few years ago and it was gross. I was deeply disappointed, but one night at a friend’s house, she served risotto and it was perfection. I asked her how she got it right, and she said she always oven-bakes it instead of boiling. I can be slightly lazy, so this appealed to me because (a) it was bomb, and (b) it was schelp-free. Winner.

I tried this recipe twice, and it works. It just works. I use shiitake and oyster mushrooms because they have a cool earthy flavour. Parmesan brings the extra, and remember to save some of the white wine for cooking. And there is butter. Need I say it again? It gives me life. Reserve the liquid you use for soaking the mushrooms. It has lots of flavour, and it’s such a waste to toss it. In this recipe, I use 600ml liquid – please note that this is the combined total. It includes the mushroom-soaking liquid, wine and stock.

Please hop over to Ann’s recipe on Grubbs n Critters. She is so creative with her meals, and I learn a great deal from her every single month. What I lack in imagination, she has in spades, but life is about balance, right? Unless you’re me trying to perfect Warrior 3 on a bad day. Or a good day, because I inevitably fall over. “Look at meeee! I’m so strong!” Faceplant. Yoga aside, Ann does bring balance, inspiration, motivation and super cool ideas to my life.

Wild Mushroom Risotto

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Supplies:

1 cup risotto rice
2 leeks, sliced
60g butter
*75ml dry white wine
*525ml combined chicken stock and liquid from soaked mushrooms
50g shiitake and oyster mushrooms
1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme
50g grated parmesan + 20g
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Parsley for garnishing

* You want a total of 600ml of liquid, consisting of dry white wine, chicken stock and the liquid from soaking the mushrooms.

Making it Happen:

Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).
Heat butter in a pan on medium heat. Fry the leeks for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper. Fry for another 5 minutes. Add the rice and fry for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pour in the combined stock and wine, and bring to a simmer.
Heat your baking dish in the oven while all the frying is happening.
Transfer the risotto mixture to the heated dish, and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
Add 50g parmesan, and stir once. Return to the oven.
Bake for another 10-15 minutes until cooked, then add the rest of the parmesan, garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

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