On Sunday we decided to spend the day cooking, and invited some good friends for dinner. When I say we decided to spend the day cooking, I do actually mean a large proportion of the day - by the time you buy, organise and prepare all the ingredients and then cook Boeuf Bourguignon, you will find yourself 4-5 hours down the line. To some of you, spending this amount of time shopping and cooking might sound like a nightmare; to others, including me, it sounds like a perfect Sunday.
I have made Boeuf Bourguignon a number of times before, and believe me it is well worth all the hard work. It does take organisation and patience, but it is not particularly difficult. And while it is cooking, it smells absolutely unbelievable. Make sure you have the right dish for making it - you need a solid cast iron casserole dish.
We found a jar of delicious-looking peaches at our local Italian shop on Saturday and so I decided to make up a dessert with them for after the Boeuf Bourguignon. It turned out to be one of the best desserts I have ever made; baked peach halves, with sweet and buttery crumble topping, served with zabaglione. I really recommend making this - it is super easy, as long as you can master how to make the zabaglione.
This dish is originally from Burgundy, France, but was popularised by Julia Child, and re-popularised by the 2009 movie Julie and Julia.
Allow 1 hour preparation time, and 3 hours cooking time.
150g unsmoked streaky bacon, diced
1 onion, sliced and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
Approx. 10 shallots, ends chopped off and peeled
3 cloves garlic
About 8 whole pieces of dried porcini mushroom
3 bay leaves
Sprig thyme (not chopped)
2 sprigs parsley (not chopped)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2-3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 quality beef stock cube dissolved in a cup of hot water, or 1 cup of real beef stock
1/2 bottle red wine (I used pinot noir)
Prepare all the ingredients. Soak the porcini in about a cup of boiling water and set aside. Turn the oven on to 160c.
Use a Dutch oven - either a Le Creuset or other cast iron casserole pot that can go in the oven. On the stove top, melt the butter and fry the bacon, then remove with a slotted spoon leaving the fat and butter in the pot. Set the bacon aside.
Remove the porcini from the water, set aside the water to add to the stew later, and chop the mushroom into pieces.
Place the lid on the pot and bring to the boil. Once boiling, carefully lift the dish, lid on, into the oven.
Cook for 2.5 - 3 hours, stirring about every hour.
In the last half hour, put on some potatoes to mash. Once the stew is cooked, remove the herbs from the sauce.
Serve warm with mash. Also excellent re-heated the next day.
Baked peaches with crumble centres and Zabaglione
1 jar of the best quality peach halves you can find
For the crumble
About 4 tablespoons ground almonds
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped almonds
About 1.5 tablespoons butter at room temperature
For the zabaglione
4 egg yolks
4 tablespoons caster sugar
4 tablespoons Marsala wine
Preheat the oven to 180c
Make the crumble by mixing all the dry ingredients together. Chop the butter into small cubes, add to the dry ingredients, and mash together with your fingers until it is mixed together and forms a dough-like consistency.
Bake the peaches for 20-30 mins, until the crumble is caramelised and nicely browned on top.
Make the zabaglione just before serving. In a stainless steel bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and Marsala wine. Whisk until the sugar seems to be dissolved and the mixture begins to go fluffy.
On the stove, heat a little water in a pot - you want to make sure the bowl is not going to touch the water - so figure out the right pot and the right level of water before you start. Once the water has come to the boil, turn the heat down so that it is on a slight simmer and place the bowl over the pot. Whisk continuously until it thickens to a thin-custard like consistency. This will take about 5 minutes, but it will thicken all of a sudden in a matter of 10 seconds, so be prepared to whip it away from the heat as soon as it does thicken.
Place two peaches on a plate, drizzle over a little of the peach syrup from the dish, pour over the Zabaglione, and serve.