With Autumn and winter fast approaching it becomes time for my favourite comfort food… stews and casseroles. I used to love coming home from school and the whole house being filled with the smell of whichever one my mother had been cooking for hours.
This is another bit of classic French cooking, and French peasant food is really very low carb friendly.
• 900g/2lb beef braising steaks or any cut suitable for slow cooking
• 3 tbsp ghee or lard
• 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 medium white onion, diced
• Optional: 1 medium carrot, sliced (+0.7 g net carbs per serving)
• 750 ml bottle dry red wine such as Burgundy
• 1 tbsp unsweetened tomato purée (paste)
• 1 bouquet garni (recipe below)
• 300g/10.6oz/4 cups white mushrooms, sliced
• 8 rashers streaky bacon,
• 1 tsp salt or to taste
• Optional: 125-250ml/½ – 1 cup water, chicken stock or bone broth
• 1-2 sprigs parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley
• 1-2 sprigs thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
• 1 tsp peppercorns
• 3 cloves
• 3 bay leaves
1. Cut the beef into large chunks and season with some salt.
2. Heat a heavy-based pot greased with 2 tablespoons of ghee. Fry the beef chunks over a medium-high heat until golden brown for about 3 minutes. Turn on the other side and brown for 3 more minutes. Work in batches so the pot doesn’t get crowded. Remove the chunks from the pot and place into a bowl.
3. Lower the heat and add diced onion, crushed garlic and sliced carrot (if used).
4. Return the beef chunks to the pot. Pour in the red wine and add tomato paste. The meat should almost be covered. If needed, add ½ – 1 cup water or broth. Bring to a boil and mix well with a spatula scraping the caramelised cooking juices from the bottom of the pot.
5. Add your bouquet garni. You can make your bouquet garni by placing all the herbs in a piece of cheesecloth and tying with an unwaxed kitchen string if you have no cheesecloth put ingredients straight into casserole. Place in the pot, cover with a lid and cook for 3 to 3 ½ hours over a low heat or 6-8 hours on low if using a crockpot or slow cooker.
6. When the meat is tender, take off the heat. Use a spatula to remove the bouquet garni from the pot and cover it with a lid.
7. Prepare the bacon and mushrooms. Grease a pan with the remaining ghee and add the sliced bacon. Cook for about 5 minutes until lightly browned and then add the mushrooms. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until tender and browned.
8. When the mushrooms and bacon are ready, take off the heat and place in the pot with beef. Mix until well combined.
Serve with Celeriac-Cauliflower mash or regular Cauliflower mash and Savoy Cabbage
Total Carbs: 8.3g