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All the best for a happy stew year.



Firstly, I hope you had a fantastic Christmas, whether it was a quiet affair or full of festive frolics and fun.

I'm sure, like most of us, you've eaten and drank way too much. But hang on in there because you've still got Hogmanay and the New Year celebrations to go.

Today, I've put together a fantastic, yet simple, recipe for you and your guests to enjoy at New Year.

Traditions vary in different households for what people eat at New Year. A big favourite in many households is steak pie, eaten before the Bells, probably to line the stomach before the serious partying and drinking begins.

Others in the steak pie camp prefer to have it on New Year's Day. It's all about personal choice and whatever fits in with your New Year celebrations.

When it comes to eating at New Year, I want something tasty but something that doesn't mean I'm tied to the kitchen while everyone else is enjoying themselves.

I want something I can prepare in advance, at my leisure, with nothing too much left to do when it's time to eat. So just moving away from the traditional steak pie, but not too far, I'm cooking a fantastic beef bourguignon. Imagine the filling from a steak pie, then imagine its more refined older brother and that's what we have.

Beef Bourguignon is a rich, hearty stew, packed full of wonderful flavours and aromas, perfect not only for Hogmanay but this time of year in general.

Nice big chunks of beef are slowly cooked in red wine and stock, along with herbs, pancetta and baby onions, until the meat falls apart in your mouth. There should be no need to use a knife to cut the meat in a well–made beef bourguignon.

Like most slow–cooked dishes such as casseroles, stews, chillies, curries etc, this dish tastes even better the next day. So if you can manage that, even better. You just have to re–heat it the next day.

You could get all fancy with what you serve with your elegant beef stew. But there's nothing better, in my view, than really well–made creamy mashed potatoes, with a bit of horseradish cream through them.

Have a fantastic time. See you all in 2015.

My top tip

For my horseradish mash, peel and cube about 2kg of potatoes, a nice floury variety such as Maris Piper, King Edward or Rooster. Boil in lightly salted water until just tender, drain and place back in a pan. Cover with a clean tea towel and put on a very low heat for 5 minutes or so. Mash, put back on the heat and beat in 100g butter, then 75ml of double cream. Beat in enough horseradish sauce or creamed horseradish to suit your taste.



2kg shin of beef, beef chuck or braising steak, cut into approximately 4cm pieces

3 tbsp olive oil

2 carrots cut into chunks

2 onions cut into chunks

2 sticks celery cut into chunks

2 bottles decent quality red wine (French preferably)

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 sprig rosemary

1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally

4 bay leaves

60g unsalted butter

250g smoked pancetta, diced

500g shallots, peeled

2tbsp plain flour

400g button mushrooms

350ml good quality beef stock

5 tbsp brandy

2tbsp fresh flat–leaf parsley


Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan. Add the carrot, onion and celery and cook for 2–3 minutes. Add the wine, thyme, garlic and 2 bay leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

Place the beef in a large bowl and pour over the wine marinade. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Drain the beef and reserve the marinade.

Heat half the butter and 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan. Add the pancetta and cook until golden brown. Add the shallots and cook for a few minutes until golden brown too, then transfer both to a large casserole dish.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Pat dry the cubes of beef then add half to the pan and cook until brown on all sides.

Remove the beef and transfer to the casserole dish with the bacon, shallots and vegetables. Repeat with the remaining beef and add to the casserole dish.

Stir in 2–3 large spoonfuls of the marinade mixture, stir and pour into the casserole dish.

Stir the flour, remaining marinade mixture and beef stock into the casserole dish.

Bring to the boil, cover and place in the oven for three–anda–half hours or longer if the beef still isn't tender.

After about two hours, heat the remaining oil and butter in a large frying pan and cook the mushrooms. Add the brandy and cook for a few minutes.

Add the mushrooms to the casserole dish, stir and return to the oven for the rest of the cooking time.

Sprinkle over the chopped parsley before serving. Season.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Article Type:Recipe
Date:Dec 28, 2014
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