Living through three Dutch winters was a mighty challenge for my Australian blood. One could say it was without a shadow of a doubt the worst part of living in Europe. OK, sure the winter markets, cosy fire places and red wine sounds like a warm rug over you but I assure you I complained A LOT!
It was during these times that I longed for one layer of clothing, watermelon, floating in the ocean and all the goodness that comes from an Australian summer.
Now how the tables have turned. I now dread walking outside, dream of a crisp breeze and (dare I say) MISS my winter clothes! but alas… I have reached a healthy medium. This medium comes in the form of cranking the aircon, closing the curtains, putting on leggings and making slow cooked pots of winter goodness.
So here you have it. My beef bourguignon. After much research into ALL the recipes out there from basically every blogger and every chef in the world it seems this is my fusion of the best bits of each.
Classic Beef Bourguignon with Bread & Parsley Fritters
4tbs olive oil
1/4 cup plain flour
400g stewing beef, cubed
4 rashes bacon, diced
1 large brown onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, chopped
2 bay leaves
Handful of fresh thyme
1 bottle of red wine
Salt and pepper
5 button mushrooms
5 small white onions
Extra parsley to serve
Half a loaf of day old white bread, torn and crumbled
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/2 cup flour
Handful of chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
In a large bowl dust the beef with the flour. Heat half the oil in a large pot then brown the beef on each side. Put aside.
Add the remaining oil then fry the bacon, onion, garlic and carrot on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring constantly to ensure nothing sticks.
Place the beef and herbs in the pot, pour over the wine and bring to the boil. Once boiling, season, cover and cook on a very low heat for 3 hours stirring every half hour.
With 30 minutes to go, add the mushrooms and onion to the pot.
OK… now for the fritters:
In the last half hour of cooking start the fritters by soaking the bread in the milk until the liquid is removed. Add the parsley, salt and pepper, egg and flour until you have a thick, smooth consistency. You can add another egg or more flour here if needed.
Heat the butter then fry spoonfuls of the mixture at a time until golden on each side. These fritters will soak up the stew beautifully and provide a wonderful texture against the slow cooked beef.
Once everything’s good to go, sprinkle with the extra parsley. Et Voila!