"When you hear the words 'fast food', you automatically think of one thing: Casserole." At least that was true in 1970s Britain, as a Look Around You special report attests. Those unfamiliar with this educational series should immediately head for the pilot episode on Calcium.
Casserole French-style is not quite so high-tech nor so speedy. Today I’m attempting a Beef Bourguignon, following a recipe by Raymond Blanc, found in written form ici, and in video la:
Yesterday I prepared the meat, vegetables and bouquet garni for marination. In the picture here I’ve reduced a bottle of cab sav on the stove and it’s just cooling off now before I add it to the bowl, cover it and leave it in the fridge overnight.
The final steps today were not complicated: draining the marinade and patting down the meat on a towel; browning the meat; finishing the sauce; assembling everything on the stove-top before adding the lid and sending to very low oven for three hours; eating the rewards.
There was supposed to be a final step of reducing the sauce further after the oven, but I didn’t have enough liquid left to justify that. In hindsight I discovered I’d been following a 95%-identical recipe on Raymond’s site for braised beef. The main difference was that it omitted half a litre of stock/water. Since I only used half as much beef the meat:liquid ratio seemed to net out quite well with the beef being very tender and succulent.
When I was poking around the “bourguignon” (stewing beef) freezer of my supermarket’s meat section I noted that some of the packages were labelled “vache laitiere” (milk cows) and some “vache viande” (meat cows). I decided to opt for the “laitiere” since I hadn’t had good experience with the specialized beef breeds.
Munson has haunted the kitchen throughout the entire process, from “creuset to gravy” but has hung back respectfully until the pan was ready for a tongue-scouring. He seems to have laboured as long and hard over this dish as I have.