Rhone-Valley Brouffade is a rich and aromatic braised beef casserole light enough to be served during an outdoor dining event.
INGREDIENTS TO MARINADE:
- 2 chuck steaks, 1.5 pounds each, neck and shoulder sliced into 1/3 inch thick slices
- 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 2 medium bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
- 1 whole clove
- Freshly grated nutmeg - a good pinch
- 2 medium onions, peeled, quartered and finely sliced
- 3 tablespoons drained capers, chopped
- 10 medium chopped cornichons
- 6 anchovy fillets
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1.5 tablespoons plain flour
- 1.5 cups beef stock
- Marinate the meat the day before serving: Slice into 1/3 inch thick slices. Lay the slices in a large non-reactive shallow tray and pour over the oil. Then, add the bay leaves, garlic, cloves and a good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg. Cover and leave in a cool place to marinate overnight.
- Prepare the brouffade: Preheat the oven to 450°F/220°C. Before cooking, remove the meat from the marinade. Strain the marinade and reserve the oil and the garlic cloves.
- Place the anchovy fillets into a mortar and mash with the flour before thinning with red wine vinegar. Pour the anchovy paste into a large bowl and add the oil from the marinade. Stir well and season with salt and ground black pepper. Take the meat slices and add to the pan ensuring an even coating throughout.
- In a large hot skillet, sear all the meat until brown on both sides. Work in batches if necessary. Transfer into a large casserole pot and carefully layer alternative sliced onion and chopped capers. Carefully pour over the beef stock, topping up with a little water if required.
- Cook: Create a perfect seal on the casserole dish by sealing the lid of the pot with a ribbon of firm dough made from flour and water. Bake the casserole for 2 hours before reducing the temperature to 375°F/190°C, and cook for another half hour.
- Bring to the table, removing the seal at the table in front of your guests. There's always great excitement as the lid is removed revealing the most beautiful stew, which smells so fabulous.