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 #6: Waterblommetjie Bredie

Waterblommetjie bredie 8I am so excited about this month’s challenge. Not only did I have a great deal of fun creating (and tasting) this recipe, but Ann and I have reached our half-year mark of our Monthly Mystery Munchies challenge and it’s been an incredibly fun, challenging and exciting experience. Thanks, Ann, for the wonderful idea!

 

This month Ann chose well! The theme? Stew with beans. My take? Waterblommetjie bredie. Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it, it’s a South African stew with an Afrikaans name; literally translated it means ‘small water flower stew’. It’s indigenous to the Western Cape region of South Africa (proudly South African, proudly Capetonian) but if you’re not in South Africa, you can substitute the waterblommetjies with green beans, as that’s what they taste the most similar to.

I added chillies to give it a bit of oomph and used the most traditional stewing meat – lamb. Expensive but definitely worth it if you’re looking to treat yourself and your guests. Of course, I’m incapable of making a stew without potatoes and I used butter beans in keeping with Ann’s theme. I’d never normally think to add beans to this stew, but it came out abslutely beautifully and bursting with flavour! Who would’ve thought flowers (more like weeds) picked from ponds would taste so good? The Khoikhoi, that’s who. They taught the early settlers how to cook with waterblommetjies. How cool is that?!

Mosey on over to Grubbs n Critters and take a gander at what Ann came up with this month. No doubt it’s delicious!

Waterblommetjie bredie

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Supplies:

Waterblommetjie bredie 1500g waterblommetjies, soaked and hard parts removed
1kg lamb knuckles
1 large onion, chopped
2 green chillies, sliced (optional)
5 garlic cloves, crushed
500g baby tomatoes
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from stalk
1 teaspoon coriander
1 cup beef or lamb stock
1kg baby potatoes, halved
1 lemon, halved
1 tin butter beans, drained
Olive oil
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Making it happen:

Waterblommetjie bredie 21. Clean and soak the waterblommetjies in salted water for a minumum of 1 hour or overnight. Before you cook them, cut the tough parts off.

 

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 32. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and brown the lamb on all sides. Set aside.

 

 

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 43. In a large pot, heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the onion, chillies and garlic on medium for 5 minutes.

 

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 54. Add the lamb to the pot. Add the tomatoes, rosemary and coriander and fry on medium for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

 

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 65. Add the potatoes, stock and juice of half a lemon, stirring well. Bring to a slow boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

 

 

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 76. Add the drained beans and waterblommetjies and simmer for an hour. Do not stir too vigorously or overcook, you don’t want the waterblommetjies breaking apart or turning to mush!

 

Waterblommetjie bredie 107. Serve with rice once cooked, or cook in advance as stews get better with time!

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.