Beef Bourguignon 

A Nick Dewar Classic - enjoyed at a dinner party at Palm Shores Oct 2014 with Sherry, Dabs, Jackie, Ewan and Jane .

3lbs diced beef stewing steak
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 lb bacon or pancetta, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 tablespoons flour
1/2  bottle Burgundy or similar red wine
1 cup beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 lb shallots or pearl onions, halved
Fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
Fresh parsley coarsely chopped

Place the beef in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

Fry bacon in a large pan for about 7 minutes over a medium heat. Keep the bacon and the bacon fat separate.

Place a casserole on the cooker, set heat to high and heat 2 tablespoons of bacon dripping in it. Sear half of the beef on all sides for about 5 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan, heat 2 more tablespoons bacon fat and fry the remaining beef well and remove from the pan.

Fry the onions in the same casserole for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and fry for another 30 seconds. Stir in the flour, reduce the heat stir for another 1-2 minutes, until the flour has assumed some colour.

Now add the wine and scrape the bottom of the casserole well so the flavour of the wine can be absorbed. Add stock, bay leaves and thyme, increase the temperature slightly and bring to a simmer. Add the beef and the bacon and bring to a simmer again (but do not let boil). Cover with a lid and place in preheated oven. Cook for 2 to 2.5 hours, leave until the meat is almost fully cooked through. 

Heat 1 tablespoon bacon fat in a frying pan and fry the shallots for 5-10 minutes until they are tender and lightly browned. Don't stir too much, to avoid breaking them apart.

When the beef is almost done, add the shallots. Once again, cover and braise for another 20-30 minutes in the oven. Stir in parsley and bay leaves. If necessary, season to taste again with salt and pepper.

Serve with mash potatoes or noodles.