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Beef Stew with Garlic and Shallots

(for 6 to 8)

1.5kg (3 lbs.) Stewing Beef -shin if possible
225g (8 oz.) Piece streaky Bacon
1 bottle Red Wine
12 Shallots
2 heads Garlic
4 tablespoons Sunflower Oil
4 Tablespoons flour-well seasoned
1 sprig of Thyme

First reduce the wine.
Put the whole bottle of wine into a pot and boil until reduced by a half.
(This does seem like a criminal act but it adds immensly to the flavour of the finished stew)

Cut the beef into large chunks and toss in the seasoned flour.
Heat some of the oil in a large pan and fry the pieces of beef in this until brown on all sides. Put to one side.
Cut the bacon into similar sized pieces and fry these until brown.
Put with the meat.
Peel the shallots and garlic and brown these whole in the same pan, then add to the meats.
Pour the reduced wine on to the pan and deglaze any charred pieces on the bottom.
Put the meats, shallots, and garlic into a casserole, pour over the wine,place the thyme on top , cover with tinfoil to seal and then put on the lid.
Heat the oven to Gas 2, 300F, 150C and cook at that heat for 2 to 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.
When you open to test during cooking be sure to reseal with the tinfoil as if the liquid of the stew evaporates the stew could dry out.
Discard the sprig of thyme before serving.
This can be cooked well in advance as it reheats and freezes beautifully and is certainly good enough for a dinner party.
Serve this with plain boiled or baked Potatoes, or Rice or Noodles.

April 14, 2006 09:11 PM | 0 Comments
  Martin Dwyer
Consultant Chef