Sunday, September 8, 2013

Boeuf Provençal

This is Boulestin's recipe for Braised Beef with White Wine and Olives from around 1910, so it's a fair bet that up-market gentlemen's clubs would have had something like it on the menu. I'm using King Island Beef from Coles which is allegedly pasture-grazed and hormone-free but not, it seems, from King Island. Kangaroo steak would possibly be better, and cheaper. I used French picholine olives which are easier to stone than green Sicilian olives. 

Boulestin does not give precise quantities, so these are my own.

Boeuf Provençal

750g beef, cut into medium-size squares
2 rashers bacon
2 onions, peeled and finely diced
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons plain flour
bouquet (a few thyme springs, parsley, a few bay leaves)
salt and pepper
1 cup white wine
2-3 ripe tomatoes
12 green olives

In a large saucepan, heat the oil until fairly hot; add the beef; stirring all the while, season with salt and freshly ground pepper, add the onions, sprinkle with flour. After a few minutes put in the bouquet and a cup of white wine and a cup of water. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook on a low heat for an hour or two until almost tender.

Meanwhile, peel and quarter the tomatoes; cut the bacon into small pieces and boil for a few minutes; stone the olives. 

When the beef is almost tender, remove the pieces and place them in another saucepan with the tomatoes, bacon and olives. Pass the liquid in which the beef has cooked through a fine strainer (removing the thyme, parsley and bay leaves), pour this over the beef and simmer for a further 30 minutes on a low heat, shaking the pan occasionally. 

Serve with steamed potatoes and a green vegetable. 

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