Years ago, I had a dish of boeuf aux carottes in a suburban bistro in Paris. Accompanied with noodles and a glass of beaujolais nouveau, it was absolutely divine (although I had a strong suspicion it was actually horse). I have tried several times since to reproduce this classic French dish, without success. This version, cooked by Steve recently using a recipe in a magazine, is as close as I have ever tasted — the tarragon is an inspired touch. Lovely with either noodles or baked potatoes to mop up the sauce.
1.2 kg chuck steak in one piece (paleron in French)
1 kg carrots
1 whole head garlic
1 tbsp flour
25 cl fresh orange juice
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 litre stock (you can use a cube and water)
1 bunch thyme
4 tbsp cumin
1 bunch tarragon
50 g butter
salt and pepper
Peel the carrots and cut into large sticks. Press the cumin all over the surface of the meat. Heat the oil in a casserole and brown the meat on all sides, then add the flour and stir briefly. Pour in the orange juice. Reduce by half, then add the carrots, the thyme, and the garlic, split in half vertically. Pour in the stock, add salt and pepper, cover, and simmer gently for 3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, wash the tarragon, chop it and beat into the softened butter. When ready to serve, put the beef and carrots on a warm serving dish. Off the heat, add the tarragon butter to the cooking liquid and whisk vigorously to thicken the sauce. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve immediately.