Celeriac Mash

I first had celeriac mash in France with lamb shanks, and it goes very well with such a dish. I also serve it with Boeuf Bourgignon, ( see my step by step recipe)..

Celeriac is a root vegetable, very ugly, that tastes like celery.

For my celeriac mash I used half a celeriac and 4 medium sized potatoes.

Method:

Peel half a large celeriac, and peel the potatoes. Cut both up into chunks

Pop the celeriac into a saucepan of acidulated water ( I squeeze in half a lemon) as it goes brown very quickly.

Pop the potatoes into a separate pan. Bring to boil and cook for twenty minutes until cooked.

Bring the saucepan with the celeriac in to the boil, and boil for about 15 minutes until tender.

Drain the potatoes. Put the dry saucepan back onto the heat and dry out the potatoes by shaking the pan until the potatoes are fluffy.

Using a potato ricer mash the spuds. The ricer is the best tool, as it only squeezes each potato molecule once, so the potatoes never go slimy as can happen if you mash them in a whizzer, and it’s easier to to than with a fork than or a potato masher.

Mash the celeriac with the ricer ( the strong armed person in you household will have to do this as they are hard to mash.

Mix the two mashes together and and butter and hot milk to taste. Whip up. Add salt and pepper.

Serve.

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Boeuf Bourgignon – Step by Step

 

OK this doesn’t qualify as baking but we can’t live by bread alone. So it was a cold night, I had some friends coming round, and what better to cook for them than the very traditional French dish, Boeuf Bourgignon, using beef and veggies bought at the local Canberra and Region Farmers’ Market.

Ingredients:

1kg stewing steak, chopped into pieces.

1 cup of lardons ( or bacon shopped up small)

Olive oil ( 2-3 tablespoons)

1 bottle of red wine (not expensive, but not bad quality either.)

7 or 8 pickling onions or shallots ( if you can’t get these just cut ordinary onions into quarters)

About 15 small mushrooms

2 or three carrots, sliced

2 cloves garlic, peeled

Mirepoix: 2-3 carrots, 2-3 sticks celery, 1 onion. A mirepoix is a mix of finely chopped vegetables that is a flavour basis in French (and Italian cooking).

1 bayleaf (2 if fresh) fresh parsley, thyme, marjoram.

4 tablespoons plain flour

Pepper and salt

Method

Mirepoix : If you have time you can finely chop the mirepoix vegetables. Alternatively, chop them in a kitchen whizzer, which makes them very fine, but I like this as it is a way of thickening the sauce.

Fry the lardons and the mirepoix in some olive oil, stirring frequently. Do not let them burn.

Take a thin plastic bag and put the flour in. Season with pepper ( not salt, as this can toughen the meat. Add the salt at the end of cooking)

Put the meat into the plastic bag and shake madly. This will cover the meat with a fine coating of flour and thicken the sauce. You may have to do it in two lots.

Take the mirepoix out of the frying pan and set aside for later.

Put some more olive oil in the pan and heat. Add the meat in two batches, and brown.

Turn the heat up and pour the entire bottle of wine in. Wait until it bubbles up, them turn down the heat, add the mirepoix, the peeled onions, additional carrots if you are using them and the mushrooms.

Notes on veggies. I always add more vegetables than traditional recipes allow as it makes the meat go further, and because I like vegetables.

Either put entire stew into a slow cooker for about 5 hours or if you haven’t got a slow cooker, put in a casserole, in the oven and cook slowly for about two hours at 160 C, until the meat is tender. How long it will take is dependant on the kind of beef you buy.

(Slow cookers are a wonderful gadget, quite cheap, and it means you can go out, leave the food cooking for several hours, and come home to a wonderful smell as though someone else had cooked dinner!)

Serve with steamed green beans of broccoli, and celeriac mash. (see recipe)