How lovely to have a Monday that feels like an extension of the weekend, with a long boozy lunchtime. My sister came for lunch with a friend and had hyped up my cooking skills, so the pressure was truly on. No matter how confident I am cooking for my own family I always worry when it comes to cooking for other people. This was a great meal which I cooked the evening before then put back in the oven today to reheat and served with a pile of simple mashed potato. The flavours mingle over night, the beef was tender and the sauce rich and incredibly tasty. I used casserole steak instead of shin of beef as I wanted to make sure that the meat would be very tender. Perhaps a good choice for a meal over the easter weekend for friends.
2 large celery sticks, sliced thickly on a diagonal
2 bay leaves
1.2kg lean braising steak, such as chuck or shin of beef
4 tbsp olive oil
200g smoked bacon lardons
2 onions, halved and diced
4 fat garlic cloves crushed
750ml red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
4 carrots, sliced thickly on a diagonal
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 large strips pared orange zest
4 tbsp plain flour
flat leaf parsley to serve
2 ground cloves (I didn't use these)
Heat the oven to 150ºC. Toss the beef in seasoned flour. Cut the steak into large chunky pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan over a high heat. Brown the beef in batches until well coloured all over. Transfer to a large casserole dish. Add the bacon to the pan and fry until golden brown. Set aside with the beef. Add the remaining oil and add the carrot and celery until just starting to golden. Add the garlic and cook for a minute then add to the beef. Add a splash of wine to the frying pan to deglaze, stirring to scrape up any residue in the pan. Tip into the casserole. Add the rest of the wine and bring to a simmer. Stir in the tomato puree, cloves, bay and orange. Transfer to the oven for 2½ hours until the meat is completely tender. Leave the lid of for a while at the end if the sauce looks too thin. Scatter with parsley to finish with pasta or mashed potato.