There is something about cooking the classics that feels like coming home and this comforting Belgian casserole is a reassuringly simple recipe – I scarcely bother to sear the meat – that feeds a huge tableful of people cosily. And – always music to my ears – it is at its best if cooked ahead, cooled and then refrigerated before being reheated. True, it takes a long time to cook (not that you have to do a thing to it while it’s in the oven) but you can pleasurably wallow in the rich, warm scent as it does. Obviously, embark on this only when time is no issue. Should you be a freeze-ahead kind of a person, know that a vat of this cooked over the weekend, makes many near-instant weekday meals ahead, when time may be scarcer but the need for comfort greater. And – ça va sans dire – have beer, not wine, on the table.
A final note: it is the shin of beef that makes this stew so sweetly succulent; by all means substitute regular stewing beef, if you must, but it will never cook to the melting softness of shin.
Photo by Lis Parsons.
Recipe posted by Nigella