Beef burgundy stew, or boeuf bourguignon, is a robust and tasty dish that improves after freezing and reheating. Make this recipe when you have time and freeze until required. The additional cooking will result in a tender, flavoursome meal. Serve it with vegetables, mashed potatoes or rice, and crusty bread. The quantities given serve six people.
Preheat oven to 325F/170C. Cut the beef into 1-in. cubes. Set aside.
Cut the bacon into 1/2-in. strips and pan fry until crisp. Leaving the bacon fat in the pan, drain bacon and place into casserole dish.
Brown the beef cubes on all sides in the bacon fat. Transfer them to the casserole dish.
Stir the flour into remaining bacon fat. Add the broth in small amounts, stirring well to avoid lumps. Add the wine in the same way. Sprinkle in the thyme, pepper and salt. Cook the mixture for a few minutes until thickened. Pour into the casserole dish. Add the bay leaf.
Place casserole in oven and cook for one hour. Gently fry the onions until softened and add them, and the mushrooms, to the casserole and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
Place in freezer container and freeze. Defrost thoroughly before reheating in oven at 325F/170C for 1 ½ hours. You may need to add a little water, if the stew is too thick.
Before freezing, divide into smaller quantities for one- or two-person servings. Use up leftover red wine by freezing in ice-cube trays and adding to recipes as required.