Ne Boeuf Pas Bourguignon!

This recipe originally appeared in Issue 2 of The Merseysider magazine, as part of our ‘Just Cook Quick’ series of quick, easy recipes. Like the scouse with a twist recipe (also on the website – click here), it’s meat-free and uses Quorn, sales of which have soared since the horsemeat scandal.

Just Cook Quick: Jack Augustin suggests another simple, speedy dish.

NE BOEUF PAS BOURGUIGNON

This is another Quorn based recipe and I’m not even vegetarian. Many thanks for the complimentary comments about the scouse with a twist recipe in our first issue. Although I have to acknowledge a few caustic comments about the Spanish version (the nutmeg wasn’t for everyone). Jo B from Crosby has found it difficult to find beef style strips. I have had the same problem; the larger Tesco stores seem the best bet (this is not an advert).

Beef or boeuf bourguignon is a French classic and rightly considered a winter dish. It usually takes hours to prepare and even longer to cook. But we occasionally have a chilly late spring or early summer evening, or even a weekend lunch where we want something warming and quick. Another reason to try this recipe is that if you are cooking for just one or two people, it is tempting to think that a dish such as boeuf bourguignon is just not worth the bother. But this is so quick and easy. This recipe is for two people; for one, half the ingredients, for four double.

Half a packet of frozen Quorn beef style strips

A small onion or a few shallots

Three or four button mushrooms, sliced

Half a cup of red wine (that’s all you need)

A pinch of dried herbs (or fresh if you have them)

Vegetarian stock cube

Salt/pepper

Olive oil or any vegetable oil

Teaspoon of cornflower if needed

Soy sauce (optional)

Peel and chop the onion. Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a saucepan or heavy based frying pan. Add onion and heat through until the onion is soft but not browned. Add frozen Quorn carefully. Stir fry gently for a few minutes; at this stage you may want to add a few shakes of soy sauce. Add the sliced mushrooms and again stir gently. If the Quorn is sufficiently soft at this stage try breaking some of the Quorn strips in two with a spatula (I do wish Quorn would bring back beef style pieces). Now carefully add the half cup of red wine, then simmer on a low heat for a minute before adding a small squeeze or a dessert spoon of tomato paste/puree. Stir in. Add a vegetable stock cube and a couple of cups of warm water. Also add salt, black pepper and herbs to your taste. Cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. If you need to thicken, put a small teaspoon of cornflower into a teacup and stir in just a little cold water. Add this to the stew and simmer for a few more minutes. You can also thicken with a dessertspoon of vegetable granules (or beef/lamb/chicken granules, if you are not vegetarian). Voila!

New potatoes go very well with this dish, and any greens of your choice. I often prepare what I call Mersey mash: boil chopped white potatoes with one or two chopped sweet potatoes, then after 15 minutes mash them together – great colour and taste. Oven chips are also fine if you want a quick supper dish.