Sunday, December 11, 2011

Boeuf Aux Carottes (Beef Braised with Carrots)

Much of this recipe has been inspired from a dish made by Guy Savoy, one of the world’s best chefs.  (Recipe is for 8 people) and really not as difficult as it looks. It is delicious made with ordinary chuck, but if you feel like splurging for Wagyu chuck, it will melt in your mouth!

4 lbs of chuck (beef)
cut into 8 pieces per pound
16 nice carrots
4 onions

4 cloves
2 tablespoons of grape seed oil
½ cup of butter
2 bottles of red wine
2 quarts of veal stock
2 branches of thyme
4 bay leaves
4 branches of celery
4 branches of flat parsley
12 grains of white pepper
12 grains of black pepper
3 tablespoons of kosher salt


24 hours in advance
Peel 3 of the carrots and cut them in half
Peel and cut the onions in half and put a clove in half of them, cut the others in halves again.
Melt half of the butter and all of the grape seed oil in a large braising pot. Brown the meat. Add the carrots and quartered onions (not the ones with the cloves) and allow to brown for about 3-4 minutes. Add the red wine scraping the bottom of the pot to release the juices of any meat or vegetables that have stuck to the bottom and allow the liquid to reduce to two thirds. Add the veal stock, celery, thyme, parsley, two of the bay leaves, the onions with the cloves, the pepper grains, and the kosher salt. Cover and braise on a low flame for 2½. Allow to cool and refrigerate over night.

Two hours before serving
Remove meat from the refrigerator and scrape off the yellow fat that has congealed at the top of the liquid.
Slowly heat the casserole to a simmer. When warm, take out the meat and pass the sauce through a fine strainer and then reduce it. If it is not thickened, remove half of it and continue to reduce. Take a ¼ cup of the warm sauce and mix with a tablespoon of arrowroot or cornstarch and when dissolved add to the sauce. Stir well and allow to reduce. Slowly ladle the remainder of the sauce into the reducing sauce and it will stay thick.
Boil salted water in another casserole and add the remaining bay leaves. Peel and slice into rounds the rest of the carrots. Add the carrot slices to the boiling water for 5-7 minutes or until cooked but still crispy. Refresh the cooked carrots in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

Just before serving
Add the carrots to the warm sauce. Remove and keep warm. Put the meat back in the casserole to warm. Plate on warm dishes by first setting down a layer of the carrots and top with 3-4 pieces of meat and some sauce.

Serve with boiled potatoes (Fingerlings or Yukon gold babies) or mashed potatoes.

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