A braised beef special

This recipe is for a very special braised dish of beef which is ideal at this time of the year for a family gathering or small Christmas party; it can be prepared ahead of time and frozen, it behaves very well in the sense that it is quite easy to heat up and serve.

This recipe is for a very special braised dish of beef which is ideal at this time of the year for a family gathering or small Christmas party; it can be prepared ahead of time and frozen, it behaves very well in the sense that it is quite easy to heat up and serve.

A lot of the time if we decide to have a gathering of people we go to far too much work and bring trouble on ourselves to the point that we regret ever deciding to have a party.

I always say the most important thing when giving a party is the guests you have invited, a lot of the time all they want is the pleasure of your company so the last place you need to be is stuck in the kitchen.

This braised beef dish can be made ahead of time, I like to serve it up with red cabbage and creamy potatoes, a nice glass of shiraz followed by a nice warm mince pie and cream, it’s what

I call a no fuss party, just enjoy the company.

This dish requires beef with a good flavour like silverside, brisket or housekeepers cut.

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BEEF BRAISED IN PORT WINE AND GUINNESS (12 PORTIONS)

Ingredients

6lb/2.7kg Beef, cut into 1” cubes

2pts/1litre Guinness

12fl oz/360ml Port Wine

24 Shallots, peeled or 2 big Onions, cut into ?

1 large Bouquet Garni, (2 bay leaves, 4 sprigs Thyme & some Parsley stalks, all tied together)

3tbsp Olive Oil

4oz/112g Butter

2tbsp Flour

1tbsp Tomato Puree

3 cloves crushed Garlic

Salt and Pepper

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Method

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Place the beef in a large bowl and cover with the Guinness and port wine and add in the bouquet garni, cover with cling film or a teacloth and leave in a cool place for at least 6 hours or overnight (in a fridge).

When you are ready to start cooking take a large casserole dish or pot that is suitable for the oven, place on the flame and add in half the olive oil and butter and allow to foam then take the meat out of the marinade and pat them dry.

Fry off the pieces of meat in the butter and oil, when they are brown remove them from the pot onto a plate and continue to fry the rest of the meat, it’s best to fry them in small batches, it helps them brown better.

When all the meat is fried off add in the rest of the oil and butter and fry off the shallots or onions until browned then add in the garlic, then add in the browned pieces of meat.

Stir in the flour along with the tomato puree then pour in all the Guinness and port mixture along with the bouquet garni, give it all a good stir, season with salt and pepper.

As soon as the pot reaches a simmering point put a lid on and place in a preheated oven at 140 and leave it there for about 2 to 3 hours until the meat is tender and the sauce will get very dark and rich.

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RED CABBAGE

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Ingredients

1lb/450g Red Cabbage, shredded

1 medium Onion

2tbsp Olive Oil

1 Clove Garlic, crushed

8oz/225g Cooking Apple, peeled & chopped

tsp Ground Cloves

tsp Ground Nutmeg

tsp Ground Cinnamon

4oz/112g Brown Sugar

4oz/112g Cranberries

pt/280ml Water

Salt and Pepper

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Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, fry off the chopped onion then stir in the crushed garlic, add all the other ingredients and season with salt & pepper.

Cook on a high heat until everything comes up to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer until the cabbage is cooked, about 30 minutes.

You can do enough for a couple of days, just re-heat, it’s a bit like a beef stew; tastes nicer the second day.