January sees the return of our Bistro Classics menu at Bistro Moderne in Stockbridge and what better way to kick off the year than with braised beef daube, creamed potatoes, confit carrots.
The weather this time of year is calling out for some warming, comforting food. Slow cooked or braised dishes are the order of the day.
This is a classic bistro dish packed full of hearty flavours. Beef cheeks are the perfect cut of meat to braise slowly for hours. The outcome is melt in your mouth. As I have said before, building a relationship with your local butcher is so important. They will offer invaluable advice and trim the beef for you to make life easier.
Beef daube (serves 4)
4 beef cheeks –ask your butcher to trim the cheeks and remove any sinew
2 carrots, roughly diced
1 onion, roughly diced
2 sticks of celery, roughly diced
2 leeks, roughly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
Half a bunch of thyme
1 bottle of red wine (a merlot would work well)
750ml chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 115C
Season the beef cheeks and sear them in a hot pan. Remove the beef cheeks from the pan and set aside.
Add the vegetables, garlic and thyme to the pan until cook until they are lightly coloured.
Deglaze the pan with the wine.
Add the stock and beef cheeks and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pan with a tight fitting lid or tin foil.
Place in the oven for 6 hours.
Remove the beef cheeks from the pan.
Strain the liquid through a sieve, discard the vegetables and reduce the liquid by half to create a sauce.
4 large potatoes
Scatter a baking tray with salt and sit the potatoes on top.
Bake the potatoes at 185C for 2 hours.
Cut the potatoes in half Scoop out the flesh and weigh out 400g.
Mash the potato or pass it through drum sieve.
Transfer to a pan
Melt the butter into the milk and pour slowly into the potatoes while stirring. Season with salt.
8 Chantenay carrots
150g duck fat, this could be substituted with 150g butter if you prefer
1 clove Garlic, crushed
3 sprigs of thyme
Melt the fat or butter in a pan.
Add the rest of the ingredients.
Simmer very gently on the hob till the carrots are tender.
Remove the carrots.
On warm plates, serve a beef cheek per person topped with the sauce. Finish with a spoonful of the creamed potatoes and dress the plate with a couple of carrots.
• Mark Greenaway is the Chef Patron of Restaurant Mark Greenaway on North Castle Street and Bistro Moderne in Stockbridge.