Pancake Tuesday

Bon Appétit Catering in Limerick: Pancake Tuesday

Pancake Tuesday or "Mardi Gras" is French for Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last day of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season, which begins on Ash Wednesday. In the english speaking world is sometimes referred to as Shrove Tuesday, from the word shrive, meaning "confess".

Pancake Tuesday is exactly 47 days before Easter Sunday, a moveable feast based on cycles of the moon. The date can be 3 February or 9 March or anything between.

Pancakes are associated with the day preceding Lent because they were a way to use up rich foods such as eggs, milk, and sugar, before the fasting season of the 40 days of Lent. The liturgical fasting emphasized eating plainer food and refraining from food that would give pleasure: In many cultures, this means no meat, dairy, or eggs.

Pancake Tuesday will occur on these dates in coming years :

  • 2015 — 17 February
  • 2016 — 9 February
  • 2017 — 28 February
  • 2018 — 13 February
  • 2019 — 5 March
  • 2020 — 25 February

Boeuf bourguignon

Bon Appétit Catering in Limerick: Boeuf bourguignon

Beef bourguignon or bœuf bourguignon ( in French ) is a well-known, traditional French recipe.

The dish originates from the Burgundy region (in French, Bourgogne) which is in the east of  France, as do many of the more well-known French dishes such as coq au vin, fondue bourguignone, escargots,  persillé ham, oeufs meurette, etc.

It is a stew prepared with braised beef in red wine, traditionally red Burgundy and beef broth, generally flavoured with garlic, onions and a bouquet garni with onions and mushrooms added towards the end of cooking.

Traditionally, the meat was larded with lardons, but modern beef is sufficiently tender and well marbled, so this very time-consuming technique is rarely used any more. However, bacon cut into small cubes is still used to produce the initial cooking fat and added to the dish at the end.

History

Beef bourguignon is one of many examples of peasant dishesbeing slowly refined into haute cuisine. Most likely, the particular method of slowly simmering the beef in wine originated as a means of tenderizing cuts of meat that would have been too tough to cook any other way.

Over time, the dish became a standard of French cuisine. The recipe most people still follow to make an authentic beef bourguignon was first described by Auguste Escoffier. That recipe, however, has undergone subtle changes, owing to changes in cooking equipment and available food supplies.Julia Child  describes the dish, sauté de boeuf à la Bourguignonne, as "certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man".

Our boeuf bourguignon is available for event catering

Alternatively, you can make it at home by following our recipe.

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 1.5  kg stewing beef (chuck or shin)
  • 200 g lean salt pork or thick cut bacon
  • 40 g butter
  • 350 g pearl onions
  • 350 g small button mushrooms
  • 1 onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 750 ml red wine, preferably Burgundy
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • bouquet garni: 1 bay leaf, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 sprig rosemary, 6 sprigs parsley
  • 750 ml beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper
Method:

1. Bring a pan of water to a boil, and drop in the pearl onions. Let them boil rapidly for 2-3 minutes, then plunge them into cold water, and peel them. Cut the mushrooms in half if needed, they should match the size of the onions. Tie together the herbs for the bouquet garni.

2. Cut the beef into 2 inch pieces and dice the salt pork or cut the bacon crosswise into thin strips.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet and fry the onions over a high heat, stirring frequently and shaking the pan, until they are golden-brown. Remove onto a plate. Add another tablespoon butter to the same skillet and sauté the mushrooms for 5 minutes until golden, then set aside with the pearl onions.

4. In a Dutch oven or a large heavy pot, cook the pork or bacon over medium heat until golden brown, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Increase the heat to medium-high. Add enough meat to the pan to fit easily in one layer and sear on all sides until well browned. Transfer the beef to a plate and continue browning the meat in batches.

5. When all the beef has been browned, pour off any fat from the pot and add the remaining butter. When the butter has melted, add the chopped onion, carrot and garlic and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes until just softened, stirring frequently. Sprinkle over the flour and cook for 2 minutes, then add the wine, tomato paste and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan.

6. Return the beef and bacon to the pan and pour on the broth, adding more if needed to cover the meat and vegetables when pressed down. Cover the pan and simmer very gently over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours or until the meat is very tender.

7. Add the sautéed mushrooms and pearl onions. Season to taste and cook, covered, for 30 minutes more. Discard the bouquet garni. Stir in the parsley before serving with steamed potatoes or mashed potatoes.

Bon appétit!

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