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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Tomato Bredie

Right now my butt is planted firmly on the couch with the TV on the background. Something about a family with 18 kids. My very first thought is “how on Earth do they feed everyone?”. No, really, HOW? Can you imagine cooking for 20 people? That’s a small village. It’s apt, though, that this show is on at the same time as I was planning to blog about this recipe.

Food never goes to waste in my house. Ne-verrr. The Husband is a human vacuum. It’s really quite amazing, his dedication is admirable. There have been many occasions when I’ve though we’d have considerable leftovers, only to wake up the next day and find empty bowls and containers scattered around the kitchen. However, with this tomato bredie, we did actually manage to live off this food for the next three days. This made me very happy as bredie only gets better with time.

I’ve played around with this recipe for a few months and finally feel like it’s blog-worthy.  Bredie is a quintessential South African stew of Malay origins and I feel like it’s only right that I finally post a traditional dish, this being my favourite. I used beef roast instead of knuckles or lamb, but you can use mutton or lamb. Beef is my favourite meat and I love how tender it is when slow-cooked for several hours but there are some who would fiercely disagree and insist upon only using lamb. You can do either, it’s entirely your preference.

Bredie 1

Ingredients:

1.5kg beef roast
200g bacon, cut into strips
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
100g tomato paste
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 cup beef stock
1 x 400g tin whole peeled tomatoes
500g baby tomatoes
8 potatoes, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Bredie 2Cut the beef into inch-long pieces. Heat oil in a large frying pan and on medium heat, lightly brown the beef on all sides taking care not overdo it. You will probably need to do this in two batches. Remove the beef from the pan and add the bacon, frying until cooked.

 

 

 

Bredie 3In a large pot, heat the butter on medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Fry until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Bredie 4Pour in the stock and add the tomato paste, tinned and fresh tomatoes, paprika, cinnamon, parsley and thyme and and fry for another 5 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

Bredie 5Add the beef and bacon to the pot, adding their juices too. Add the potatoes, bay leaves and sugar. Cover and bring to a gentle boil, turn down and simmer, gently and uncovered, for three hours. Season as desired. This dish is best when it’s rested overnight or for at least several hours. It’s ideal to cook the day before or put it in the slow-cooker overnight. Serve with basmati rice.