JOIE DE VIVRE – French beef stew


I have been living in hot climates since I left France 14 years ago. A very strange thing happened shortly after: I missed winter! Why? First of all, cold makes you hungry, and as a result you enjoy eating a lot more and learn to appreciate food. This is why all these years I have tried to perfect the art of hearty stews as my mum would. Tip # 1 to ensure the dish is a hit, learn a little bit about the region’s best produce and make sure you use fresh ingredients to make it authentic and tasty!

For my beef stew, I have Tasmania in mind! Next time you travel there, make sure you take a trip to the Salamanca markets. If you’re staying at Wyndham Seven Mile Beach, there are even shuttles from the resort if you don’t want to worry about driving. “Aller au Marché” (go to the markets) was always part of life growing up in France. The combination of vibrant colours, smells and cheerful sounds remind me of my childhood and just make me want to cook immediately! We know that Beef is definitely a meat of choice for Tasmania so here is my hearty beef stew recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1kg diced beef
  • 3 onions (sliced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (crush then slice)
  • 6 medium size carrots (cut in fine slices)
  • 1 punnet of button mushrooms (chop mushrooms in quarters)
  • 1/2 litre of cooking wine (do not use an expensive wine, it would be a waste. Keep the good wine for dinner)
  • Fresh Parsley, tarragon and rosemary (Tarragon and Parsley bunch chopped finely. For the rosemary, leave the main stick out and use only 4 sticks.
  • 250g jar of pitted green olives (drained)
  • Seeded mustard (4 tbsp)
  • Olive oil (to cook the mushrooms)
  • Salt and pepper to taste (at the end)

In a pan

olive oil + 2 onions + mushrooms (sliced – no too thin) + half of the bunch of Parsley

Cook them until they are nice and brown. Put aside. When cooled down, put in a bowl and in the fridge for later.

In a bowl (with lid)

Mix all other ingredients, stir well, close lid firmly and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.

The stew

Once all ingredients have marinated, add mushrooms to the mix, stir well and pour your mix into a cooking pot at mid-low temperature (say 5 out of 10). Cover with lid. You will need to stir every 40mn. I normally make sure that there is quite a bit of juice when cooking so if you have lost a lot of liquid in the marinating process, make sure you add stock, wine or water.  The stew should be cooking in its juice and be easy to stir. This way it will not stick to the dish and you don’t have to watch over it so often. Ideally cook for about 4 hours (maybe in the morning before you head out to discover Tassie’s natural beauty). Then leave it to rest and cook again at night for another couple of hours. Enjoy your dinner!

I sometimes do mashed potatoes to accompany the stew. It goes together quite well.

Another cooking method – a good trick for busy working parents – is using a slow cooker. This will definitely do the trick. Simply put on low cooking position in the morning and get on with your day. When you come back home after a hard day’s work, you will feel as if a Chef had cooked for you.

Other beef stew recipes I recommend:

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One comment

  1. Pingback: British Bourginon | A Provincial Life

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