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Comedian Josh Thomas shares his hearty beef dish as featured in Celebrity Come Dine With Me Australia
Remove bacon rind and cut into ½ cm strips thick, 3 cm long.
Simmer rind and strips for 10 minutes in 4.5 cups of water then drain.
Preheat oven to 230 degrees.
Fry the bacon strips in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over moderate heat for 2 to 3 minutes to brown lightly. Remove to a side dish with a slotted spoon.
Dry beef in paper towels
Heat fat in casserole until almost smoking. Add beef, a few pieces at a time to brown then add it to the bacon strips.
In the same fat, brown the sliced carrots & onion. Remove the excess fat.
Return the beef and bacon to the casserole and toss and add pepper & salt.
Lightly coat the beef with flour.
Set casserole uncovered in middle position of preheated oven for 4 minutes.
Toss the meat again and return to oven for 4 minutes (this browns the flour and coves the meat with a light crust).
Remove casserole and turn oven down to 160 degrees.
Stir in wine and stock, so that the meat is just covered.
Add the tomato paste, garlic, herbs and bacon rind bring to a simmer.
Cover casserole and put in the oven to simmer for 3-4 hours.
While the beef is cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms.
In a frypan combine 1 1/2 tablespoons butter with one and one-half tablespoons of the oil until bubbling.
Add onions and sauté over moderate heat for about 10 minutes, evenly bowning them. Do not break the onion skins.
Add 1/2 cup of the stock, salt and pepper to taste and the cheesecloth herbs.
Cover and simmer slowly for 40 to 50 minutes until the onions are perfectly tender but hold their shape, and the liquid has evaporated. Remove herbs and onions aside.
Wipe out the frypan and heat remaining oil and butter over high heat. As soon as you see butter has begun to subside, indicating it is hot enough, add mushrooms.
Toss and shake pan for 4 to 5 minutes. As soon as they have begun to brown lightly, remove from heat.
When the meat is tender, pour the contents of the casserole into a sieve set over a saucepan.
Wash out the casserole and return the beef and bacon strips to it. Add the cooked onions and mushrooms on top.
Skim fat off sauce in saucepan. Simmer sauce for a minute or 2, skimming off additional fat as it rises. You should have about 2 1/2 cups of sauce thick enough to coat a spoon lightly.
If too thin, boil it down rapidly. If too thick, mix in a few tablespoons stock. Taste carefully for seasoning.
Pour sauce over meat and vegetables. Cover and simmer 2 to 3 minutes, basting the meat and vegetables with the sauce several times.
Serve in casserole, or arrange stew on a platter surrounded with potatoes, noodles or rice, and decorated with parsley.
‘Inspired by a recipe from Julia Childs’ recipe
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