Boeuf Bourguignon et Cèpes sur lit de Tagliatelle
Boeuf Bourguignon or Burgundy Beef Stew in Red Wine was one of the first French dishes that I learnt to cook ages ago and my teacher was the Hub himself before he became too overwhelmed by work to cook much nowadays. By popular demand I'm going to post my recipe even though the picture didn't turn out well (was too eager to start eating didn't try hard enough).
Do not be fooled by appearances, it looked like food you'll serve to your favourite dog, but we really didn't have any of it left to share with Brest - our friendly neighbourhood dog who usually cleans up my leftovers. And the Master himself approved of it though I've over the years changed the recipe to suit myself.
1.5kg beef (if you can find some cheeks they'll be really tender, my preferred for this dish)
200g thick smoked bacon
100g butter (if you're health conscious replace with olive oil in a smaller quantity of course)
1 big red onion
30g dried funghi porcini/cepes/mushrooms (soaked for 10 minutes in a small bowl of hot water)
bay leaves, thyme and/or rosemary
750ml red wine (preferably from Burgundy)
250ml meat stock
salt and pepper to taste
Cut the beef into medium-sized cubes and marinate them for a few hours in the red wine with a few prigs of fresh rosemary/thyme and bay leaves. Before cooking them, remove from the wine marinade and coat them with the flour. Reserve the wine.
Slice the bacon. Melt the butter and sweat the onions and bacon pieces in it. Remove them and set aside.
In the same fat, brown the cubes of lightly floured beef. When it has turned brown, add in the herbs. Return the onions and bacon to the pot, pour in the warm/hot meat stock and the mushrooms together with its liquid. Followed by the red wine. Simmer for 2-3 hours (depending on the meat). Adjust your salt and pepper. If you prepare it the day before, you'll be able to remove some fat from the dish before heating it up to serve.
Serve hot with a crusty baguette, fresh pasta, mashed or pan-fried potatoes.
Meanwhile I've been really busy spending much of my waking moments hunting for left-handed golf clubs for the Hub and right-handed ones for Eldest Son. They have both picked up golf recently (golf club is just opposite the house) and now have permission to own their own clubs and move out of the driving range. Actually truth is that there are only 2 other left-handed players in the club and the Hub could find nobody's golf clubs to squat on just for practice and will have to buy his own ones. Of course he's probably also quite talented in the sport as he is with almost anything that has to do with a ball (quite the very opposite of myself).
We were tempted to buy the clubs in Singapore where they would be much cheaper than over here in Italy, but then we remembered the Italian Customs and their fame with taxing everything in sight. And it'll be kind of difficult hiding 2 bags with golf clubs sticking out of them, don't you agree?