3 tsp goose fat
600g shin beef
100g smoked streaky bacon, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
350g shallots or pearl onions, peeled
About 20 chestnut mushrooms
1 bouquet garni
1 tbsp tomato purée
750ml bottle red wine
FOR THE CELERIAC MASH
2 tbsp olive oil
Rosemary and thyme sprigs
4 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
- Season the meat and chop it into large chunks. Heat one tablespoon of goose fat in a large casserole pan and sear the beef in batches until it turns that lovely dark brown. The key here is to brown the beef evenly. Once browned, transfer the meat into a colander with a bowl under it to catch all those tasty juices.
- Next, throw the bacon, shallots, mushrooms, garlic and bouquet garni in the same pan and fry until lightly browned. Watch out for rogue bay leaves escaping from your bouquet garni as you stir! If, unlike me, you focus on wrapping the bouquet garni tightly instead of making a pretty bow, this shouldn’t be a problem!
- Mix in the tomato purée and cook for a few minutes before adding the beef and the drained juices. Then give it all a good stir and notice how that delicious herby fragrance is wafting through the whole house! I know your mouth will be watering by this point, but remember the 3 Ps of slow cooking: patience, patience, patience (I may have completely made up this rule, but I stand by it).
- Now for the wine. At the heart of any good bourguignon is a good wine. My rule of thumb is to ask myself “would I happily drink this?”. Hopefully your answer is yes, so pour in the wine, add just a little water but make sure the meat isn’t completely covered and bring to the boil as you stir. Scrape the caramelised cooking juices from the bottom of the pan – these will give the stew even deeper flavour. Yum!
- While you heat the oven to 150°C / 130°C fan / gas mark 2 , tear off a piece of tinfoil and arrange it so that it covers the top of the pan. Pop it in the oven to cook for 3 hours. While the rich flavours take their time to blend and mellow, you take your time to chill and relax.
- Or you can get on with the celeriac mash. Cut the celeriac into cubes and fry it in a pan until it turns lovely and crispy and golden. Add in the bay and cardamom pods, rosemary and thyme and pour enough water to cover the celeriac. Simmer on a low heat for about 25 minutes. After you drain the water and remove the herbs, crush the celeriac lightly – and voilà!