Introduction: Campsite Hearty Beef Stew
Runner Up in the
Camping Food Challenge
Currently we are camping in the south of France having experienced a couple of lovely sunny days. As a consequence of this when we shopped we bought salads, seafood and BBQ bits.
However this morning the world changed with thunder, lightning and an awful lot of water and half way through the afternoon it has that set in for the day feel about the weather.
So do people want salad? No. What they want is something warming and comforting and I've decided to make them Campsite Boeuff Bourgignon, a dish inspired by the original but adapted to take account of the lack of cupboard basics.
Just to make it a little more interesting I've decided to write it up as an Instructable on a £50 Chinese tablet with limited wifi.
Step 1: The Ingredients . . .
We will be using:
Step 2: Let's Get Started . . .
To me, all good, hearty main courses start with lots of onions so a good glug of olive oil goes into the pan, quickly followed by said onions, over a medium heat. What you want is to soften them, not brown or burn them.
After a couple of minutes then you add in the garlic and choritzo. Normally you would use stock to enhance the flavours of such a dish but I have none so by frying the choritzo you release paprika flavours into the pan giving it a bit more ooomph.
Anchovies or the oil from their container is another way to add depth to the dish. Don't worry if people dislike them because they will simply melt away into the sauce, add richness but not any fishy taste.
Step 3: Colour the Cubes . . .
Extract the onions, garlic and choritzo from the pan and put to one side.
Turn the heat up to high and start browning batches of the meat. Don't throw them all in together unless you have a huge pan because too many juices will appear at once and you will end up braising the beef instead of searing the sides and locking in the succulence.
Once all the meat is browned, return all to the pan along with the onions, garlic and choritzo.
Step 4: Vin Rouge . . .
So in goes as much red wine as needed to cover the meat, followed by the untraditional extras of carrots and tomatoes. These were what I had at hand but it could be anything that will add to the flavour; peppers, courgettes, celery.
Add salt and pepper to taste and we are ready to create magic.
Put a lid on the pan turn the heat down low and let it bubble away for a couple of hours until the beef falls apart without the need to cut with a knife.
Step 5: Finishing Touches . . .
When the meat is tender, you are on the home stretch and dinner is served in 20 mins . . .
Serve this dish with some carbs. In our household it is potatoes and french beans but it works well with rice or even pasta.
If you find that the sauce is not thick enough for you tastes then add a thickening agent. At home this would be cornflour but out camping I resort to crumbling bagette or bread into the pan at this stage. After a little cooking it breaks down, thickens the sauce and goes unnoticed by the ravenous family.
Step 6: Dinner Is Served . . .
So here we are, the table laid, steaming food ladled onto plates and the family settling down for some warming faire whilst the rain tip-taps away on the canvas.
How was the food? Much appreciated and too soon gone.
How was writing this Instructable? With a cheap tablet you do not get autofocus and flash so photographing progress was a nightmare and I had to take 5 shots in the hope of getting an acceptable one. The writeup was a lot better having found the Android Instructable app, a head scratching couple of minutes working how to return to text after adding photos but other than that it was a joy.
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