For obvious reasons, Christmas and New Year’s Eves celebrations this year are going to feel very different for most of us. And although large celebrations with family and friends may be out of the question right now, scaling down this New Year's Eve needn’t mean cutting back on great food and enjoying some tasty, culinary delights over the festive period.
I’ve decided to keep it simple and go for some classic, French comfort food this year. You know there are some recipes that are so timeless, so perfectly right just the way they are, that it seems like a total nonsense to somehow “reinvent” them and bring them up to date.
You see…there’s normally a very good reason that some dishes have been around forever, on and off restaurant menus, but constantly reappearing and delighting new generations. Simple and authentic dishes where the food is treated with reverence, understanding and above all, with care. Big flavoured, wholesome dishes like a Classic French Onion Soup, Cassoulet and Coq au vin, but this year I’m opting for a hearty Beef Bourguignon. It is simply one of the most famous dishes of traditional French cuisine and this recipe is an instant comforting classic, full of satisfying flavours!
It’s a dish that I’m going to be cooking a lot this week as it’s proving to be a very popular choice on our Fosh Food delivery service too. For a simple dessert, I’m going to roast a pineapple with caramel and spices and serve it warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Whatever you’re cooking this year, stay safe, enjoy the time in your kitchen and a very happy new year to all!
· 1.5kl stewing beef (cut into large chunks)
· 125g streaky bacon (diced)
· 20 baby onions or shallots (peeled)
· 2tbsp. Tomato puree
· 1.5L beef stock
· 100g flour
· 100m olive oil
For the marinade:
· 1 large onion (roughly chopped)
· 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
· 2 carrots (peeled and chopped)
· A sprig of fresh thyme
· A sprig of fresh rosemary
Place the stewing beef in a large bowl and add all the ingredients for the marinade. Leave in the refrigerator overnight. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and brown the stewing beef. Stir in the flour and tomato puree. Add the ingredients from the marinade and cover with beef stock. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 3 hours, removing any fat and impurities that rise to the surface during the cooking. Heat a little oil in a small frying pan and saute the diced bacon and baby onions until golden brown. Stir them into the stew and cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Season to taste and cover again with a tight fitting lid. Open the pot at the table to enjoy the wonderful aroma.
Roasted Spice Pineapple
· 1 pineapple, ripe but firm
· 125g sugar
· 250ml water
· 1tsp fresh ginger
· 20 cloves
· 2 vanilla pods
· 4 star anise
· ½ cinnamon stick
· 50ml rum
Peel the pineapple and remove the eyes with the point of a sharp knife. Stud the pineapple with cloves, stat anise and cinnamon. Split the vanilla pods and scrap out the seeds. Bring the water to the boil and add the sugar, ginger and vanilla seeds. Boil for 6-8 minutes to a light caramel colour. Pre heat the oven to 190ºC. Stand the pineapple upright in a baking dish and baste with the spiced caramel. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes, basting 4-5 times with the caramel. Carve the pineapple in slices and serve warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.