Traditional preparation of this dish is two days, to continually tenderize the meat and to intensify the flavors of the stew.
1kg Oxtail or Ox cheek or beef for stewing
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic peeled
2 carrots, peeled and cut
1L veal stock
600ml red wine (from Burgundy preferably)
200gr Smoked streaky bacon, diced
Coarse salt - to taste
1 spring of fresh thym
1 Bay leaf
Saute' the bacon in little oil, keep aside.
Brown the “meat”: As with any stew, start by browning the meat well in a large, deep pot or casserole.the same that you used for the bacon. This allows the meat to caramelise (Maillard Reaction), adding incredible depth to the stew. Once the meat is browned, remove from the pan and set aside.
Make the stew: In the same pot, sauté the onion and carrots until golden and just starting to soften. Add the garlic and herbs and sauté for another minute. Pour in the red wine and deglaze the pan. Allow the wine to simmer and reduce for a few minutes. Add the meat back into the pot and pour in the veal stock. Add just enough stock to cover. Reserve the rest. Season with salt and pepper then cover and allow to simmer slowly for 3 hours OR until the meat is tender and succulent.. The meat must be just about to fell off the bones (for oxtail)
Alternatively, place in the oven at 120ºC/250ºF. Check on the liquid level every 45 minutes and top up as necessary.
It is important to cook the stew slowly, so the meat release the natural collagen.
That will make the consistency of the sauce.
Finish the Bourguignon: If necessary remove the lid for the last 30 minutes of cooking and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken slightly. (use some roux if necessary or cornflour to have a gluten free dish)
Traditionally you will serve it with mushrooms, glazed small onions and fried bread in garlic.