boeuf À la mode
Braised Beef or Boeuf à la Mode is a French classic dish, very popular as a family dish as well as being a great dish for parties.
The great thing is that you don't have to be the greatest cook on earth to make this one as it more or less takes care of itself once you have prepared it.
The marinade is a most important part of your recipe as it will give your dish a really good flavour. If the wine/stock does not cover the meat completely, turn the meat at intervals to allow it absorb the aromatic flavours.
It is also the most economical of dishes and it can be eaten both hot and cold. It makes great sandwiches too if you have any over!
This recipe will serve around 8 people so if you need more or less, just adjust the amount to what you need.
• 2kg (4½ lbs) of lean boned beef - ask your butcher for some thinly sliced fat for the top if there isn't any on the joint.
• 2oz (50g) butter
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 8 tomatoes
• 3/4 pint of beef stock / vegetable stock, or water
• 3 tablespoons tomato puree
• Salt and pepper
Marinade for your braised beef:
2 carrots sliced
3 onions sliced
1 clove of garlic crushed
2 stalks of celery sliced
3 bay leaves
1 sprig parsley
3 sprigs of thyme
3 tablespoons brandy
3/4 litre (1 1/4 pints) red wine
Dry the meat with kitchen paper and if you have a piece of fat to cover it, fasten it with toothpicks!
Sometimes the butcher will cover it for you will a piece of fat.
To make your marinade, first slice the vegetables and mix with the crushed garlic, the herbs and wine and brandy.
Place your meat in this marinade and leave for about 8 hours or a good idea is to leave it overnight.
• Following this time, take your meat out of the marinade and dry on kitchen towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in a roasting tin in a hot oven 220C/425F/Gas7 for about 20 minutes to brown.</p>
• While the meat is in the oven you make the gravy that it will be cooked in - melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan add the flour and mix well until it is light brown.
• Strain the marinade and slowly add this to the flour mixture with the stock and boil on a low heat for a few minutes stirring continuously.
• Add the tomato puree and season with salt and pepper.
• Take your meat out of the oven, pour off any melted fat and slowly add the gravy to the roasting tin.
• Add the herbs and vegetables from the marinade.
• Cover the tin with a lid or tin foil and leave in the oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 for about 3 hours.
• By covering the meat you do not have to continually baste it during cooking.
When cooked, remove the herbs, leave the braised beef to stand for about 15 minutes before slicing.
Bring the gravy to the boil and if necessary, add a little brandy.
Serve on a hot serving dish or individual plates with gravy over.
Your Braised Beef or Boeuf à la Mode may be served with glazed carrots and onions and boiled potatoes or if you prefer a lovely dish of creamed potatoes. Whatever you enjoy!
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