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Beef and Mushroom Daube


Serves 4-6

150g lightly smoked diced or sliced bacon
lard or vegetable oil
750g stewing steak cut in big chunks
1 heaped tbsp flour
salt and pepper
300ml red wine
300ml chicken stock
bouquet garni made with: 1 bay leaf, 2 rosemary stalks, 2 branches thyme, 1 branch sage and 5cm strip orange zest
3 onions, finely sliced
6 big garlic cloves, peeled
200g portobella or other large, flat mushrooms
large knob of butter


Fry the bacon in a little lard or vegetable oil in a frying pan, cooking until the fat melts and browns and the bacon crisps. Transfer to a spacious, oven-proof casserole dish. Brown the meat, 6-8 pieces at a time, for about 1 minute a side. Transfer it to the bacon as you go. When all the meat is done, sift the flour over the top of the meat and bacon, place over a medium heat and stir vigorously until it disappears. Season with salt and pepper and add the wine. Bring to the boil and add the herb bundle. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes before adding the stock and leave to simmer while you cook the onions and garlic. Place both in the frying pan, adding extra lard or oil if needed and cook over a moderate heat for 15-20 minutes until the onion is wilted and browned and the garlic coloured all over. Tip the onions and garlic into the casserole. Stir well, taste and adjust the seasoning. Wipe the mushrooms and slice them thickly. Add the butter to the frying pan and fry the mushrooms briefly. Lay the mushrooms over the meat, pushing them under the liquid. Turn off the heat and tuck a large sheet of greaseproof down over the surface of the stew, lining the sides and overhanging the edges of the dish. Position the lid and cook at 300F/150C/gas mark 2 for 2 hours. If possible, leave overnight then warm through before serving with mashed potato and green beans or carrots.

Reproduced with the kind permission of Lindsey Bareham
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