Bœuf Chasseur

Mad bull

Serves 4

Venison is also delicious cooked in this way. The flavour of the dish is even better when reheated.

4 tablespoon oil
1 tablespoon butter
750g lean chuck or round steak cut in 3.Scm cubes
1 onion, chopped
1 level tablespoon flour
300-375ml beef stock
150ml white wine
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons tomato purée
bouquet garni
salt and freshly ground pepper
250g mushrooms
1 tablespoon chopped parsley (for sprinkling)

1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy- based flameproof casserole until foaming and brown the pieces of beef on all sides, a few at a time.

2. Take them out, add the onion and sauté over moderate heat until lightly browned. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until richly browned - do not allow it to burn. Allow it to cool slightly and add 30Oml of the stock, the wine, garlic, shallots, tomato purée, bouquet garni and salt and pepper. Replace the beef and bring the mixture to the boil.

3. Cover and simmer on top of the stove or cook in a moderate oven, 18OºC (35OºF) gas 4, for 1½-2 hours, or until the beef is very tender. Stir from time to time and add more stock if it looks dry.

4. Trim the mushroom stems level with the caps and quarter them if large. Fifteen minutes before the end of cooking add the mushrooms to the stew, stir, and continue cooking. When the beef and mushrooms are tender, discard the bouquet garni and taste for seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish or serve from the casserole, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. The stew can be made a day or two ahead. Keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

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