A bistro or bistrot /ˈbiːstroʊ/, is, in its original Parisian incarnation, a small restaurant, serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting with alcohol. Bistros are defined mostly by the foods they serve. French home-style cooking, and slow-cooked foods, like this recipe suggestion, or a cassoulet, bean stew, are typical.
Don't you just love the look of those shiitake mushrooms! They go so well in this beef casserole, which is served with a herby nut topping. It also freezes well, which can be a bonus!
Serves 10 (or adjust as necessary)
14g carb per serving
4 tbsp. olive oil
1.5 kg (3lb 3½oz) chuck steak, cut into bite-size pieces
450 g (1lb) button onions or shallots, peeled and left whole
3 fat garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp. demerara sugar
350 g (12oz) shiitake mushrooms
2 tbsp. each plain flour and English mustard powder
450 ml (¾ pint) Continental-style beer
A few fresh thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
For the gremolata topping:
80 g pack flat-leafed parsley, chopped
Coarsely grated rind of 2 oranges, plus juice of 1 orange
50 g (2oz) walnut pieces, toasted and roughly chopped
2 red onions, peeled and very finely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC (130ºC fan) mark 2. Heat half the olive oil in a large flameproof ovenproof casserole until sizzling. Brown meat, a few pieces at a time, adding the remaining oil if needed. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or the meat will stew rather than brown. Every piece should be dark brown - the colour adds richness to the final flavour. Transfer each batch of meat to a plate while you brown the remainder.
2. Add onions to the pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly for 5min or until they're beginning to soften and colour. Add garlic and sugar; fry for 4-5min or until onions are soft and caramelised. Add mushrooms and cook for 2-3min.
3. Turn the heat down and return all the meat and any juices to the casserole. Add the flour, mustard and plenty of seasoning and stir in with a wooden spoon. Gradually pour in the beer, stirring as you go. Bring slowly to a gentle simmer, add thyme and bay leaves and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
4. Put the casserole in the oven and cook for 3-3½hr. The beef should be tender and the sauce dark and rich. Season to taste. If making ahead, cool and freeze for up to one month in a freezer-proof container.
5. If serving from frozen, thaw overnight at cool room temperature. Preheat oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan) mark 4. Slowly bring beef to the boil in the casserole. Cover and reheat for 25-30min. Then mix together all the gremolata ingredients. Serve separately to scatter over the stew.
From an original Good House-keeping recipe here
All the best Jan