This is the type of dish to make when you want to potter around the house and be very happy to peek in on a dish every now and again to check it and add a few more things, and after a few hours be remarkably delighted with the end result. This traditionally French dish is so lovely and complex in flavour – meaty and mushroomy, gravy, thymey and winey. My good friend Edrea and I wanted to cook something together, and after many flicks through one of my new favourite cooking and baking books, The Great Australian Bake Off, this is the one we finally settled on. Originally designed as a pie filling, we adapted it to make a pasta dish instead. Alternatively, you could make the pie version (which would be equally delicious I presume and come on, who doesn’t like pie…) if you were keen on making some pastry as well. So get your day planned and cook up this delicious beauty – we filled our waiting time with watching P.S. I Love You – whatever takes your fancy!
- 750g chuck steak, cut into small chunks
- Plain flour (to coat the steak in)
- Vegetable oil
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 350mL red wine (nothing too fancy – I bought a $3 bottle which actually turned out wonderfully)
- 250mL beef stock
- 250g button mushrooms, finely sliced
- Pasta (to serve, such as fettuccine – a nice thick one)
- Fresh thyme
Essential kitchen items
- Large pot/saucepan (to cook all your ingredients in)
- Small saucepan (to reduce down the wine)
1. Toss the beef in the flour and season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan. Add in the meat pieces a little at a time and fry for around 2 minutes until they have browned slightly. Then remove onto a plate.
2. Turn the heat down and stir in the onions and garlic. Cook down for about 10 minutes until the onions are very soft.
3. In a separate small pan, simmer the red wine until it has reduced by about one-third (I hadn’t actually ever tried this technique before, but it worked! You can test how much it has reduced down to by pouring the wine into a measuring jug after about 10-15 minutes. The aroma is delicious too, think mulled wine!) Once the onions have cooked down, stir in the wine, stock, beef, and thyme sprigs. Bring to the boil for a few minutes and then lower the heat, covering the dish and cooking gently for 1 hour, stirring from time to time. During this time, the mixture should take on a new taste, colour and texture, and begin to look for like a gravy.
4. After the hour, add in the mushrooms and let simmer, uncovered, for another hour. Add salt and pepper as needed. Towards the end of simmering, and when the gravy is nice and thick, put on the pasta and cook according to packet instructions.
5. Voila! You are done!