A slow-cooked stew is hard to beat; meltingly tender meat in a rich, flavoursome sauce, accompanied by mash and a plethora of vegetables, make it one of the most satisfying meals to cook and eat. This recipe from Eric Chavot and his Michelin-starred, eponymous brasserie takes inspiration from traditional French cuisine, using cloves, cinnamon and orange and lemon peel for a warming kick.
- 1.2kg beef feather blade or beef cheeks, trimmed
- 6 smoked bacon rashers
- 250g tinned tomatoes
- 2 onions (diced)
- 300g carrots (sliced)
- 1 celery stick (sliced)
- 1 sprigs rosemary
- 4 sprigs lemon thyme
- 10 black peppercorns
- 4 cloves
- ½ cinnamon stick
- Orange and lemon peels from ½ an orange and a lemon
- 750ml red wine
- 375ml white wine
- 500ml veal stock (use good quality beef stock cubes if you can’t find veal stock)
- Fine sea salt to taste
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Gently season the beef and colour in a heated frying pan until golden all over.
- Remove the meat and set aside. Quickly fry the bacon rashes, and then set aside with the beef.
- Using the same pan, gently cook your vegetables until golden brown, soft and sweet.
- Add the tomato and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
- Remove the mixture from the pan and drain in a small colander.
- Deglaze the pan with the wine, bring to a gentle simmer and reduce by half.
- Place the beef in an ovenproof casserole dish; add your bacon, vegetables, wine, veal stock, spices and herbs.
- Bring to a gentle simmer, cover with a paper cartouche (baking paper cut into a circle that fits snugly on top of the ingredients in the saucepan) and a lid and place in your preheated oven at 210°C / Fan 185°C / Gas 6.5.
- Cook gently for up to 3 to 3 ½ hours. When done the meat should feel soft to the touch and have no resistance when your prick it gently with a fork.
- When ready, remove from the oven, and leave to stand until tepid. Remove the meat gently from the casserole into a deep dish, and cover with cling film.
- Strain the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan and reduce to a nice shiny sauce consistency. Add the meat when done. Serve with a creamy mash potato and a garnish of glazed button onions; glazed baby carrots, niçoise olives, semi-dried tomato and chargrilled baby artichokes.
Eric Chavot is working with Pays d'Oc IGP wines. For more info: paysdoc-wines.com