Monday, 15 February 2010

Post 169: Beef in Stout with Mustard Sauce

I've got a new cookbook, and I'm excited. It's called Comfort Food by Bridget Jones - clearly this Bridget is quite a cook; unlike her big knickered, fictional namesake. The book is big and plastic covered and choc full of very practical recipes - which all seems like it's meant to be used rather than meant to look nice on your shelf. So, notwithstanding my impressedness with the book, I instantly changed Bridget's recipe around.

Here it is before going in the oven, healthily dusted with salt and pepper.

Underneath, this is what went on:
  • 1.5 kilos stewing beef fried off and then put to one side
  • 300gs little round shallots fried until just a little browned, along with 3 cloves garlic (my addition)
  • 400gs carrots, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • A 330ml bottle of stout
  • A tea-bag of bouqet-garni
  • And then 2 kilos of potatoes sliced 1/2 a cm thick layered on top
The recipe cooks this on the stove, but I went for oven cooking. I covered this and then plonked it in a medium (150c) oven for 5 1/2 hours. Then because I wanted the top layer to crisp, I took the lid oven for a last hour. After which it looked like.

Returning to the proper recipe again. The sauce underneath here was still quite thin. So, after removing all the lumps ready for serving, the sauce was mixed with a roux to which some mustard had been added. This thickened the remaining sauce to ladle over the great and potatoes.

All of which was served alongside some simple boiled cabbage (which appears to be trying to take over my plate). The meat unsurprisingly enough was lovely and soft and the gravy very flavoursome. Although this took an age in the oven, the preparation time for this was only about 20 minutes.

Rich's wine recommendation for this was a Cotes du Rhone. I didn't have any of that, so I went for a Claret. Which as the label says, was good, complementing the meaty-ness of the dish.

Even better was that it was a big bottle.

I would though just like to point out that I'm not posh; Berry Brothers is not my Offy.


  1. You are not fooling anyone with that claim of not being posh you know - a bottle from Berry Bros. you lucky man! The meal looks delicious.

  2. Mmmmmmmmmmm I would happily tolerate this meal putting hairs on my chest :p

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  4. Kath - I'll make you really jealous now..... I've got another one of them big bottles of Berry Bro's Good Ordinary Claret. It's very good.

    Trust me though, I'm not posh. They were very gratefully received christmas presents.

    Hi Catherine: hope it doesn't really put hairs on your chest.


  5. That looks like my kind of cooking. I'll note that Bridget Jones book and look forward to seeing more of the recipes

  6. I'm just starting to get into mustards after making some recently - how easy was your mustard sauce to make and how strong was it? Bet it was great with the rest of the recipe :)

  7. Janice: Bridget's 1 out of 2 so far, this one was lovely, but my quest to be able to make a decent moussaka continues.

    Giles: There wasn't anything difficult about making the mustard sauce. It was a bit to cook for hours and then have to mess about taking all the lumps out. Once we'd made a roux, we added 2 tea spoons of Colman's mustard and mixed that - and then added it to the runny sauce, which all combined pretty easily. That was enough for quite a mild mustard flavour to the sauce.

    When I cook this again, I might fry the meat in flour and add the mustard from the start. If I've got the time to cook it slowly, I can't see why that won't get to the same result without the ladling at the end.


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