Recipe: Burgundy Beef with a Cracked Crust

This is a twist on the traditional Boeuf Bourguignon, which is usually made with steak and takes hours to make. With this recipe, you get the same delicious French flavours, but it’s a smidgen of the work.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Filling

  • 500 g Quality Mark beef mince
  • 4 rashers bacon, roughly chopped
  • 6 small onions, peeled and halved
  • 1 cup good-quality red wine
  • 1 handful parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves removed from stems
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 piece orange zest
  • 1 cup liquid beef stock, warmed
  • 1 heaped tbsp flour
  • knob butter, melted

Crust

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated Gruyère or raclette cheese

Method

Preheat oven to 180 °C.

To make filling, heat a splash of olive oil in a frying-pan and gently fry bacon. Once crisp, remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, gently fry onions until golden brown all over. (A traditional Boeuf Bourguignon leaves them whole.) Remove onions from pan and set aside with the bacon. Using the same pan, brown mince. Pour red wine in slowly. Get it to bubble as it hits the pan and the alcohol will evaporate, leaving the rich flavours behind. Stir through herbs, mushrooms and orange zest. Add stock and stir well. Cover dish and put in oven for 30–40 minutes.

Take dish out of oven and remove bay leaf. Take a few tablespoons of liquid and mix with flour and butter to form a paste. Stir paste into meat mixture in pan and you’ll have a delicious, thick gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To make crust mixture, melt butter over a low heat and add flour to make a paste. Add milk and cheese and stir well until cheese has melted and mixture is really thick. Pile cheesy crust mixture on top of meat mixture and spread evenly.

Put dish back in the oven and bake until golden brown and sauce from the meat is bubbling up around the edges.

Serve with lightly poached veggies, new potatoes and warm French bread.

An extract from Minced with photography by Alan Gillard. Published by Penguin Group NZ. Copyright © Sue Hamilton and Dana Alexander, 2010. RRP $35.00. Available at all good booksellers nationwide.