Beef in Claret
Historically, there has been a long connection between Scotland and France. As a result, there has always been a fair amount of gastronomic interplay between the two countries. In particular, French wine, especially claret, was imported and used in cooking as well as being consumed in large quantities. Here is a recipe combining home produced beef with French claret.
Ingredients for the trimmings:
5 oz (150g) lean bacon
6 to 8 small, young onions
14oz (400g or two cups) chopped button mushrooms
Ingredients for the meat:
3lb (1˝ kg or six cups) stewing steak
4 tablespoons oil
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons flour
1 bottle of fruity young claret (Burgundy or Beaujolais)
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
Bunch of fresh herbs
Cook the bacon in a frying pan until it is lightly brown. Add the onions and cook uncovered for roughly ten minutes. Then add the mushrooms, stir, cover and cook gently for a further ten minutes.
Preheat the oven to 300F/150C/Gas Mark 2
Cut the stewing steak into cubes roughly 1˝" (4cm) square. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the cubes of meat. Place in acasserole, add the garlic and sprinkle the flour over the meat. Place in the oven uncovered for 15 minutes to continue the browning process. Stir from time to time.
Add wine, light seasoning and herbs. Cover and simmer for 3 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove from the oven and stir in the trimmings. Heat for a further five minutes and serve with boiled potatoes sprinkled with chopped parsley. If you have another bottle of Burgundy or Beaujolais to drink with the meal - so much the better!
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