Braised Beef

A hearty main dish to serve for a dinner party, this beef braised in red wine may be accompanied by steamed rice and broccoli.

10 5 lb. piece of beef for braising, topside or silverside

2 tablespoons flour 2 oz. butter 1 medium-sized onion, chopped 1 large carrot, scraped and diced, plus 4 carrots, scraped and quartered

1 small turnip, peeled and diced, plus 2 small turnips, peeled and quartered

2 celery stalks, diced

1 garlic clove, crushed

8 fl. oz. dry red wine

8 fl. oz. beef stock

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon dried marjoram

½ teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat the oven to warm 325°F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C). Dry the beef well with kitchen paper towels. Coat it with the flour.

Melt the butter in a large, flameproof casserole over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the beef to the cas-

serole and brown it on all sides. Remove the beef from the casserole and place it to one side.

Add the chopped onion, diced carrot, diced turnip, celery and crushed garlic to the casserole. Add a little more butter

if necessary. Cover the casserole and cook the vegetables for 15 minutes over moderate heat, stirring occasionally.

Place the browned meat on top of the vegetables in the casserole. Add the wine, stock, salt, pepper, bay leaf, marjoram and thyme. Cover the casserole and bake in the oven for 3½ hours, or until the meat is almost tender when pierced with a fork. If necessary, add more stock or wine to the casserole while it is cooking.

Remove the beef from the casserole. Pour the gravy through a strainer placed over a large bowl. Discard the vegetables in the strainer. Return the beef and strained gravy to the casserole. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Add the quartered carrots and turnips. Cover the casserole and return it to the oven. Cook for a further 30 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are tender.

Place the meat on a warmed serving platter and surround it with the carrots and turnips. Pour a little gravy over the meat and the remainder into a warmed sauceboat.

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