Friday, 31 July 2009

Poor Man's Beef Bourguignon

After the fiasco with the beef in my last post, I thought I should have a second shot at doing a dish involving beef and mushrooms. This time round though, I've done things differently.

Believe it or not, Sainsbury's actually has a Basics range of alcoholic drinks. The quality level and hence their drinkability isn't very good, but you get what you pay for. Of particular amusement in my uni days was the Spanish Red Wine. My flatmate has a particular disdain for spanish wines, so seeing his reaction on trying the Basics one was particularly entertaining. "It's Spanish, and it's Basics. Ugh. Good only for making sangria."

But the wine is good for cooking. I've made pretty good Coq au Vin using this. Furthermore, it's slightly acidic. Which is a good thing, since I'm working with tough cuts of beef.

The other item I've added is bacon. Sainsbury's recently added cooking bacon to their line of basics products in this category, which include unsmoked and smoked back bacon (as an aside, you might find that the British prefer back bacon, and so streaky bacon is going to be quite expensive). £1.52 for 670g is a pretty good deal, especially when you consider that the Basics back bacon is £1.48 for 300g.

Obviously, there is a downside. the cooking bacon is sold as whole chunks, ie, they are not sliced into rashers for you. So don't think that you can use this for your bacon sandwiches or bacon and eggs. It's great for stews and possibly things like carbonara though.

The end result is pretty good, if I may say so myself. The addition of bacon and red wine certainly helped, since it turns out that the beef isn't very flavourful.

DescriptionPrice per UnitNo. of servingsTrade-up PremiumTrade-up Benefits
Diced Beef£2.502+£0.50, incl bulk discount (2 for £6)Richer tasting beef
Spanish Red Wine£2.534+£variable (750g)
Better tasting wine. Recommended. Unless you're using for cooking.
Cooking bacon£1.52variable, 670gN/ANot Applicable, no other alternative

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