This traditional French casserole dish lends itself admirably to the clay pot, particularly the small French "poulet form."
Marinate the cubed beef overnight in ½ cup each brandy and red wine. When ready to cook, drain the beef and reserve the marinade.
Presoak a clay pot, top and bottom, in water for 15 minutes.
Combine the flour,
In frying pan, cook the diced bacon in olive oil until lightly browned, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Saute the floured beef in the remaining bacon fat and olive oil until browned on all sides, then pour off most of the fat, add
To the drippings in the frying pan, add the crushed garlic, chopped parsley, bay leaves, tomato paste, thyme, remaining salt, and reserved marinade (combined with enough equal amounts of brandy and wine to make
Cover the pot and place it in a cold oven.
Set the oven temperature at 450 degrees.
Cook for 1 hour.
Then remove the pot from the oven and add the bacon cracklings.
Test the sauce for thickness and the meat for doneness. (If the sauce is too thick, add heated wine, being careful not to pour it directly on the hot clay; if the sauce is too thin, pour it off into a saucepan. Skim off the fat, heat it, and thicken with arrowroot, then adjust seasoning to taste and pour back into the pot.)
Serve with plain boiled potatoes for a traditional bourguignon dinner-or, if you prefer, boiled noodles.
© 1974 All rights reserved. Published by Echo Point.