Dinner chez moi? Andrew Rudd's classic French recipes
Voulez-vous diner avec moi ce soir? Don't hesitate to extend the invitation when you are armed with Andrew Rudd's super tasty classic French recipes
This dish originates from the Burgundy region of France. This method of slow cooking tenderises the beef beautifully. In Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Julia Child describes sauté de boeuf à la Bourguignonne as "certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man". I tend to agree, and so do my customers.
You will need
For the marinade
1.5kg stewing beef, cubed
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and each cut into 3 pieces
2 large onions, peeled and cut into chunks
5 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
4 bay leaves
3 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
750ml red wine
For the bourguignon
1 litre good beef stock
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
Peel of 1 orange, cut into strips
A good knob of butter
20 shallots, peeled but left whole (optional)
500g small button mushrooms, cleaned
200g rindless streaky rashers, roughly chopped
50g flour and 50g butter for the roux (optional)
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
To prepare the marinade, season the beef with salt and pepper and place into a plastic container with a lid or a large heavy-duty ziplock bag. Add the carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, thyme and red wine. Seal and refrigerate overnight.
Once marinated, place the beef and all the contents of the marinade into your largest oven-proof casserole pot. Bring up
to the boil and add the beef stock, tomato purée, tin of tomatoes and orange peel. Cook over a high heat for 15 minutes, removing any scum from the top with a slotted spoon as it forms. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for a further four hours. Alternatively, transfer into a preheated oven (160C fan/180C/gas mark 4) for at least 3½ hours.
In the meantime, using a large frying pan, sauté the whole shallots and button mushrooms in a knob of butter for approximately five minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add these to the casserole pot of bourguignon 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Now fry off the streaky rashers and add those to the pot too.
Check the bourguignon for seasoning and add more if needed. Remove the orange peel and bay leaf. At this stage, you can thicken the bourguignon following the instructions below, but if you prefer, you can skip that step and simply serve the bourguignon. Right now. It will still taste great.
To thicken the bourguignon, first prepare a roux by melting the butter in a small pan over a medium heat and slowly adding the flour, whisking constantly. Within 2-3 minutes, the roux will take on a consistency of cake frosting. Remove the pan from the heat and let the roux cool.
Drain the liquid from the bourguignon and pour it into a saucepan. Bring up to the boil and add in the roux, little by little, whisking constantly. The liquid should begin to thicken immediately. Continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes and ensure there are no lumps. Then pour this thickened sauce back into the bourguignon and serve immediately.
Serve with freshly chopped parsley.
Tarte tatin is an upside-down tart, where the fruit is caramelised in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. In Medley, we were recently devising a new French menu for our cookery classes, and my chef Paul came up with six different variations of this classic dessert. This is the one we settled on. It is truly delicious. As this recipe serves more than two, you can enjoy the leftovers the next day.
You will need
180g caster sugar
1 shot (30ml) Aperol or similar liqueur (optional)
5-6 dessert apples (Cox's or Granny Smith), peeled, cored and sliced
450g puff pastry
Beaten egg, to glaze
If you can, place the prepared apples in the fridge, drizzled with lemon juice to prevent them from discolouring, uncovered, for 24 hours, as this will help them to stay firmer and plumper when cooked.
In a deep, ovenproof, heavy-bottomed frying pan (about 28cm diameter x 4cm depth), melt the butter and add the sugar. Cook until golden brown. Add the Aperol (or similar liqueur) and cook off the alcohol for about 30 seconds to one minute. Arrange the apple slices in the base of the pan in overlapping circles, working from the outside into the centre. Keep the arrangement nice and tight, as the layer of apples will be the top of your tart once it is cooked and turned out.
Preheat the oven to 180C fan/200C/gas mark 6. Caramelise the apples in the pan for about 10 minutes over a medium heat, until they are slightly soft when pressed down. The liquid should be quite dark in colour, similar to toffee.
Roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface until it is about 2-3cm greater in diameter than the pan. Lay the pastry over the apples in the pan and push the edges down the side of the pan so they will form a ridge around the tart.
Glaze the top with a little beaten egg and prick all over with a fork so the pastry doesn't puff up when cooking.
Bake in the hot oven for 25 minutes. When the tart is cooked, leave it to settle in the frying pan for five minutes or so before running the blade of a knife round the edge to dislodge any pastry that has stuck.
Invert a plate over the top and turn out the tart, along with any juices left in the pan.
Serve with softly whipped cream.
The pastry base is really not that important. Quite unusually for a French recipe, you are given a certain amount of freedom to use a pastry of your choice on top of the apples.
Larousse's recipe specifies shortcrust pastry, but concedes that "alternatively puff pastry can be used".
We prefer the puff pastry version.
Cooking apples are tasty but go mushy when cooked and do not work with this recipe, as they don't hold their shape. Cox's or Granny Smiths are perfect.