Life

James Street South Cookery School: Salad Lyonnaise and Beef Bourguignon

Salad Lyonnaise – traditionally this French dish contains dandelion leaves
Niall McKenna

SUMMER always provides a great opportunity to sample the many and varied delights of international cuisine. Whether it's fresh fish on a beach in Spain, dipping mozzarella in balsamic in Tuscany or enjoying a literal smorgasbord in Sweden, we love the sensation of being able to taste where we travel.

We took a short break as a family to France this week and really enjoyed our time together as we sampled the local cuisine of the Atlantic coastline. It was hugely refreshing to see that the staples of classic French cookery are still very visible, and proudly so, across menus in the many cafes, restaurants and bistros we visited. This week's recipes are two very classic French dishes which always go down a treat, regardless of time of year.

SALAD LYONNAISE

(Serves 6)

400g frisee salad leaves

180g smoked streaky bacon

4 tblsp olive oil

1 small baguette, slightly stale is OK

2 cloves garlic

white wine vinegar

6 free range eggs

2 tblsp red wine vinegar

salt

black pepper

Method

Wash and dry your salad leaves. Cut the bacon into small strips, place on a non-stick pan and cook with a drop of olive oil until browned and crispy.

Cut the baguette into slices about 1cm thick, drizzle with olive oil on both sides and place in a pre-heated oven at 200C for 15 minutes until crisp. When cooked, rub with the cloves of garlic.

To cook the eggs, place a pot of water with a generous splash of white wine vinegar on to the heat and get the water boiling. To get the best poached eggs, swirl the water with a large spoon and put them into the water. Cook the eggs for about four minutes; you want the eggs to be runny.

A traditional Lyonnaise salad includes dandelion leaves, so if you can get some, add these to the frisee. To assemble the salad, simply place the leaves in a bowl, add the bacon and bread and toss in the red wine vinegar, season with salt and pepper, place the poached egg on top and serve.

BEEF BOURGUIGNON

(Serves 4)

1 bottle Burgundy red wine

700g braising beef, chopped into small pieces

plain flour, for dusting the beef

vegetable oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

60ml brandy

1 bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, parsley)

400ml beef stock

2 tblsp unsalted butter

To garnish

2 tblsp unsalted butter

12 button onions, or shallots, peeled

12 button mushrooms, cleaned

12 baby carrots

100g streaky bacon, chopped into strips

½ lemon juiced

Start by placing the wine into a large enough pot for all the ingredients – a casserole dish with a lid is best. Place the wine on a high heat and reduce the liquid by half.

Preheat the oven to 160C. To colour the beef, chop it into small bite sized pieces and dust with the flour. Add some oil into a frying pan and place on a high heat; cook and brown on all sides. Remove the beef from the frying pan and discard the oil.

Add a fresh drop of oil to the pan and cook off the onions and crushed garlic until browned then add the beef back to the pan. Add the brandy and then pour the ingredients into the casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper, add the stock and bring to a simmer in the hob.

From time to time skim the dish – a layer of fat will form at the top. Place some greaseproof paper on top of the dish, cover with the lid and cook for 90 minutes in the oven.

To prepare the garnish, boil the carrots in hot water. Remove once cooked. In a frying pan add the butter and brown the shallots/button onions. Remove from the pan and fry the bacon until browned. Remove and season the oil with the salt and pepper, then do the same with the mushrooms.

To serve, spoon the beef Bourguignon on to each plate; add the garnish veg to finish and add colour.

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