Sainsbury’s provided me with bargain braising steak, and plenty of it, so I decided to make this tasty-looking recipe. It takes about two and a half hours so it’s not a quick meal, but it’s not particularly high maintenance – once it’s in the oven you don’t even need to look at it for the best part of two hours. Like the pork chops with calvados it comes from the book The Food of France.
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1kg of braising steak, cubed
4 onions, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1 tablespoon of plain flour
500ml of beer
3 bay leaves
4 sprigs of thyme
For the crutons:
6-8 slices of French bread
Pre-heat the oven to 150.
Melt the butter in a large pan, along with a tablespoon of oil and brown the meat over a high heat. (You may need to do this in batches – it depends how big your pan is.) Lift the meat out of the pan and pop on a plate.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the onions. Cook over a moderate heat for 5-10 minutes and then add the sugar and garlic (add a little more oil if necessary) and cook for a furter 5 minutes.
Remove the onion from the pan and place on another plate.
Reduce the heat to low and pour in any juices that have drained from the browned meat, the stir in the flour.
Remove from the heat and stir in the beer, a little at a time to prevent it from foaming up too much.
Return to the heat and gently simmer to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Layer the meat and onion in a casserole dish, tucking the bay leaves and thyme sprigs between the layers and seasoning with salt and pepper as you go.
Pour the liquid over the meat, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 2½ hours.
To make the croutons lightly toast the slices of bread and spread on one side with mustard.
Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the lid from the casserole dish, arrange the croutons on top, mustard side up and cook, uncovered, for the final 10 minutes.
I served this with a lightly cheesy mash and steamed spring greens.
No photos of this one as I accidentally deleted them from my camera! D’oh!