Winter beef bourguignon (336 calories per serve)

Melbourne was very cold this morning when I woke up, despite being sunny. I was cranky and all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and take a long nap after having a hearty noodle soup. The downside to my long nap was that I rushed this bourguignon cooking for only 1.5 hour instead of the 2.5 to 3 hours that I usually do it in so the meat wasn’t as tender as I would’ve liked. I also used quite a bit of carrot because I was eager to clear my fridge of carrots!

I have also made a simplified chicken version.

Serves 8 (or maybe 6 as some would definitely want seconds!)

Prep time 40 mins

Cook time 2.5-3 hours

1kg braising beef, cut into chunks (rump, topside, or chuck is fine – I used rump)
30g butter
350g shallots, peeled (or pearl onions, which are better for presentation)
500g large mushrooms, quartered
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
400g carrots, halved twice and cut lengthwise
300g carrots, puréed
250ml beef stock
750ml dry red wine
1 bouquet garni (5 sprigs rosemary, 5 sprigs thyme, 5 bay leaves)
4 cardamom pods
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, to garnish (I forgot this in my rush though!)

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Melt the butter in a large casserole pot and brown the beef all over. Remove and drain using a colander making sure to retain the juices in a separate bowl underneath to add to the casserole pot later.

Sautee the garlic, onions, mushrooms, and carrots in the casserole pot. As they start to become fragrant, add the carrot puree, the bouquet garni and cardamom pods. The puree adds more depth to the stew base and some recipes replace it with tomato but make sure to only put a tbsp or two because you don’t want the tomato to overpower the flavours.

Season and add the beef back into the casserole pot. Pour in the wine and the beef stock which should mostly cover the beef pieces.

Place the casserole pot into the oven and let it cook for 2.5 to 3 hours by which time it should be beautifully tender.

Garnish with the parsley leaves and serve with mashed potato (not included in calorie count).

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