Braised Round of Beef

A sumptuous dish, ideal for Sunday dinner, Braised Round of Beef can be served with parsley potatoes and, perhaps, a green

salad. A hearty red wine would be best with this dish.

3 lb. lean beef (topside or

silverside), prepared for roasting 2 oz. plus

1 tablespoon flour

2 oz. butter

3 medium-sized onions, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

5 medium-sized carrots, scraped and quartered 1 small turnip, peeled and diced 1 small head of fennel, sliced

3 slices streaky bacon

8 fl. oz. dry red wine 8 fl. oz. beef stock

1 teaspoon salt 2- teaspoon black pepper 1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into squares

Preheat the oven to warm 325°F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C).

Coat the beef well with the 2 ounces of flour. In a large flameproof casserole melt the butter over moderate heat. Put the meat in the pan and, using tongs or two large spoons, turn and brown the meat well on all sides. Set the meat aside on a heated platter when it is completely browned.

Add two of the sliced onions, garlic cloves, half the carrots, turnip and fennel to the pan and cook them, uncovered, over

moderate heat for about 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Pour the vegetables and cooking juices out of the casserole into a small bowl and reserve them.

Place the bacon slices in the bottom of the casserole. Arrange the cooked

vegetables and their cooking juices on top. Put the piece of meat on top of the vegetables. Pour the wine and beef stock into the casserole. Add the salt, pepper, bay leaf and thyme to the mixture. Bring to the boil over moderate heat.

Cover the casserole and place it in the centre of the oven. Cook for 2| hours, or until the meat is almost tender. Add

more beef stock, or wine, if necessary during the cooking period.

Remove the meat from the pan and set it aside. Pour the pan juices and vegetables through a strainer, pressing down hard

on the vegetables with the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the juices. Discard the vegetables and return the strained liquid to the casserole. Replace the meat and add the remaining carrot quarters, sliced onion and potatoes. Cover the casserole and return it to the is cooked beef stock onions, carrots, oven. Braise for a further 45 minutes, or until both the vegetables and the meat are

very tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Transfer the meat to a warmed serving dish and arrange the vegetables around it.

Thicken the braising liquid in the casserole by adding the remaining

1 tablespoon flour and mixing well over moderate heat on top of the stove. Cook for 1 minute or until the sauce is smooth and thick.

Pour some of the sauce over the meat and serve the rest separately, as gravy, in a sauce boat.

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