Sunday, 20 January 2013

French - Week 2: beef stew!

Week 2. 
During this week's class, Chef Klaus demonstrated 3 dishes: crêpe suzette, estouffade de boeuf (beef stew), and batonnets de carottes et navets (glazed carrots and turnips). We made our own beef stew,  as well as the glazed vegetable side dish. The glazed vegetables were fairly easy to make. You start by caramelizing sugar in the pan (dry heat, no water). Then you add the blanched vegetables to the pan, coat them with the caramelized sugar and 1 tbs of melted butter. 

For the  beef stew, our recipe calls for 1 kg of meat. But due to the small class size, we all got a bit of extra of ingredients. I got a HUMONGOUS piece of meat, which probably weighed 2 kg just by eye-balling it! The techniques used to make the stew are pretty standard for beef stews. Basically, you brown the tough meat in the pan first and then finish cooking it in the stock in  the oven. I like this recipe because the nice touch added by the olives, which made the entire dish very French. 

2 kg of beef shoulder meat, cubed
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 big onion (the meat to onion ratio should be around 1:1)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 package of mushrooms, sliced
1/4 can of black olives
1tbs olive oil
1.5 cups of red wine
2.5 cups of demi-glace (demi-glace is made of half beef stock and half Espagnole sauce)
some flour for dusting the meat

1. Preheat oven to 375 ºF
2. Cut the beef into cubes, dust them with flour. Make sure you remove all the chewy silver skins in the meat. 
3. Heat the olive oil in pan. Add beef cubes for browning. 
4. Set the meat aside in a casserole and drain off the excess fat. 
5. Fry up bacon in the pan until crispy. 
6. Sweat onion, garlic, mushroom and olives.
7. Add red wine and demi-glace. Remember to deglaze the bottom of the pan, so that you will keep all the flavour from the fond. 
8. Adjust seasoning with salt/pepper.
9. Pour everything into the casserole, continue cooking in the oven (covered) for another 2.5 hrs. 

 The final product was served with the glazed root vegetables made in class, stir-fried rice, and the leafy Chinese vegetable, Jie Lan. (I think its English name is Chinese Kale? Correct me if I am wrong.) 

Happy Sunday! 

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