Among other things I brought back from our latest trip to France was a very inexpensive cut of meat that has become quite expensive in the UK. In the UK and America we call it Short Rib – in France they call it a Plat de Cote and it’s rise in price in the Anglo Saxon countries is due to the explosion of Gourmet BBQ and Steak houses and the rise and rise of the Texas style BBQ food trucks.
So far the French haven’t taken on board the whole comfort food/BBQ/Steak House thing that’s happening elsewhere. So Plat de Cote is still really really inexpensive. So this how you can make the most costs effective and luscious winter dish ever. The great thing about this cut is that it comes form a hard working part of the beast so it tastes really beefy.
So first off – sautee the beef hard in a small amount of vegetable oil to get a good coloured, caramelised crust on the beef. Then add sliced onions and carrots and bring some colour to them (about 5 minutes) then add half a bottle to good red wine (we used a Baturrica Gran Reserva from Spain and its robust almost sweet flavour was perfect for the beef) Let the alcohol boil off and add a litre of beef stock to cover the meat.
Add bay leaf, 10 pepper corns and thyme put the lid on your casserole and place in the oven at 150 degrees for 3 hours. The meat should be cooked by then so take out the meat strain the liquid – take off the beef fat from the top (keep it as it’s great for baking potatoes) return the cooking liquid to the pot and reduce and reduce and reduce – until you get a thick caramelised unctuous sauce that is red winey, beefy and rich. Best served with Mash or simply billed white rice. So next time your in France for the day and your passing a butcher shop ask for some Plate de Cote and get cooking you’ll love this.