27 July 2009

la cuisine de bourgogne - boeuf bourguignon

Whilst in the Dijon tourist office, coupled with our purchase of the "owl trail" or parcours de la chouette map: the foot guide around the city marked by little owl birds in the pavement showing where to pause for your points of interest,

I also zoomed in and bought a 2€ cookery pamphlet of local recipes from the Burgundy region:

pears poached in wine, oeufs en meurette and; that classic dish, boeuf bourguignon

Now I have access to the authentic recipe for the dish, I can make beef burgundy just as the French intended

Try not to muck about with it any more than you see here

1.5 kilo beef chuck, shoulder, collar or topside

50g butter
50mil oil
100g lardons
2 onios
2 carrots, finely sliced
3 tablesp plain flour
2 cloves crushed garlic
1.5 bottles Burgundy red wine (I used 1 X 75cl bottle)
bouquet garni (using parsley leeks thyme & bay)
salt and pepper
optional extra: add other spices

trim and cut your meat into chunks
gently brown the lardons, meat, onions and carrots in a lidded casserole pot/ cocotte with the butter and the oil
when they are nicely coloured, sprinkle with the flour, stir, then add the bottle of wine
add the bouquet garni, salt and pepper to taste, and simmer gently with the lid on for 2 -3hrs according to your cut of meat
if the liquid is a little runny, remove the meat and the garnish from the pot, and reduce the sauce (over a medium heat for a few minutes)

if you wish you can create a tight seal for the pot, by mixing 200g flour with a little water to form a thick paste. Shape into a sausage and make a tight fitting collar that fits between the rim & the lid of the pot during cooking.

1.5 kilo de paleron, macreuse, collier ou gite à la noix
50g de beurre
5 cl d'huile
100g de lardons
2 oignons
2 carottes
30g de farine
2 gousses d'ail écrasées
1 bouteille det demie de vin rouge Bourgogne
1 bouquet garni (persil poireau thym laurier)
sel, poivre gris
épices (facultatives)

Préparer et couper la viande en morceaux réguliers
Dans une cocotte, faire revenir au beurre et à l'huile les lardon, les morceaux de viande puis les oignons et les carottes coupés très finement
Attendre que le tout soi bien coloré puis saupoudrer de farine et recouvrir de vin rouge
Ajouter l'ail écrasé et le bouquet garni, saler, poivrer puis faire cuire à feu doux pendant 2 ou 3hrs (le temps de cuisson dépend de la taille et du choix des morceaux
A la fin de la cuisson, retirer la viande et la garniture aromatique, et faire réduire la sauce si elle manque de consistance


Pour la cuisson, il est possible de fermer hermétiquement le couvercle de la cocotte en préparant une pâte ave 200g farine et un peu d'eau.
Une fois la pâte terminée, en faire un boudin que vous collez entre le couvercle et le rebord de la cocotte.

20 July 2009

Benedictine Big Bread - brewed from beer

click here for slideshow

You can make bread from the dregs of organic conditioned ale - the dregs are called "trub"

No need for yeasts, just bring the trub to life using strong white flour and water. And with this beer, you can produce a one off, unique Benedictine loaf of bread, just like they did in the Days of Yore

Mick, a baker in Bethesda, Wales from Dan Lepard's own forum told me exactly how to do it.
So, in concert with Dan's ale bread with wheat grains recipe, from the Handmade Loaf, I set off to see how

To be true to Mick's method, it is important to keep this loaf HUGE, mine weighed in at 2.6 kilos after baking!

The trub starter - ingredients for 600g

1 X 500mil bottle conditioned organic brew - Scottish wheat beer here or any ale that has some sign of flotsam in the bottom
at least 1 teasp of said trub
strong white flour & water

  • shake your bottle to remove the sticky dregs in the bottle base
  • settle for 10mins & open, then pour into a jug to rest overnight
  • pour off the beer & reserve it for later
    mix the wet trub remaining, with a little strong white flour to form a paste, like so
  • cover and leave for 24hrs

  • then double the amount of your paste by adding equal parts strong white flour & water
  • cover and leave for 24hrs

  • now it's showing good signs of life, so we need to treat it as a starter by feeding it so - measure 50g of the bubbling paste, add 100g flour and 100g room temperature water
  • throw the remainder away
  • repeat that evening, 50g of starter: 100g strong white flour: 100g water
  • repeat morning and evening for 2 days

you have now just made some bubbling, sour, beer starter

onwards to the loaf ................... it's a big old boy!

The Benedictine bread - ingredients
600g strong white flour
300g rye flour
100g wholemeal flour
2 teasp sea salt
500mil bottle conditioned Scottish wheat beer, or other ale
600g trub starter
100g water
400g barley grain, or wheat or rye, as you wish in accordance with your beer choice

  • mix your chosen grain with the beer bring to the boil, and simmer gently for 40 - 45 mins till softly cook to al dente in the centre, topping up with water if it's dry - mine was

    store overnight

09:00 - 10:30
  • in one bowl mix flours and salt together
  • in another bowl mix the water, trub starter & grains - and leave for 10 mins
  • combine both bowls, bring together well kneading to a dough with your hands for exactly 10 mins, rest for 10 mins
  • knead briefly on an oiled surface X 3 times at 10 minute intervals, covering and resting in between
  • rest for 30mins

10:30 - 12:00
  • turn the dough and repeat at 30mins and 1hr X 3 times, by flattening to a rectangle, fold over left side, fold over right side, fold over top, fold over bottom, like so

12:00 - 14:30

  • shape your dough to a ball shape, and rest seam-side up, on a heavily floured tea towel in a very large bowl, till almost double - for 2 hours to 2hrs30

14:30 - 16:00

  • heat your oven to 210deg, carefully and skilfully place your risen, round ball of dough onto a baking sheet, seam-side down now
  • slash your chosen design
  • & bake for 1hr15mins, turning at intervals for even colouring and crisping
  • rest in the cooling oven for a further 15mins to ensure the centre is baked well
  • cool on a wire rack

18 July 2009


By Dan Lepard - the Handmade Loaf


15 July 2009

Bread! Bread! Bread! - plain pitta breads

I just like saying it now.

& Dan Lepard's perfect pitta bread recipe is just that.
Taken from his Guardian Guide to Baking, Nov 2007, I've taken his yeast version and used leaven


100g plain flour
400g strong white flour
120g white leaven (or Dan's recipe uses a teasp of dried yeast)
325mil room temperature water
1 teasp salt
1 glug sunflower oil

  • add the water to the leaven and stir
  • mix the flours and salt & add into the leaven, pour over the oil
  • & bring together well with your hands
  • cover & rest for 10 minutes
  • knead in the bowl (unlike Dan's usual method on an oiled surface) 10 seconds x 3 times, at 10 minute intervals - 1 ~ 2 ~ 3
  • cover & rest for 45 minutes
  • cut your dough into 10 pieces each weighing 100g
  • shape into balls and rest on a floured board for 15mins, turn oven on to max
  • flour your work surface well and roll out your balls 2 or 3 at a time, to pitta shapes 4mm deep
  • place on a baking tray & bake on max for 4 mins till they puff up well, but do not colour

  • wrap in a cloth to keep them soft
  • freshly roll 2 or 3 more & bake for 4 mins

  • cool your pittas in their cloth - ready for grilling, griddling, barbecuing or freezing
  • when required, grill either side for 2 minutes