British braised beef a cozy dinner for a snowy day

When the snowflakes swirl and the cold wind blows, I welcome the chance to slow down. Gray winter days have me craving something warm and comforting. So, when I have time at home, I like to a make a winter pub inspired dinner, my British braised beef and mashed potatoes.

This wine braised beef is like beef bourguignon, but simpler to make. Just brown the meat, add the wine and stock and the oven will do all the work while your kitchen is filled with a delicious aroma. Finish the sauce by adding a flavorful British twist with Dijon mustard and horseradish. Serve over creamy mashed potatoes and you'll have a cozy supper that will make you happy you stayed in.

- Amy McCauley of Hinsdale is the paper's food columnist. Readers can email her at [email protected]

British Braised Beef

• 3 lbs boneless beef stew meat, cut into pieces and pat dry

• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 3 slices of bacon

• 2 yellow onions, diced

• 6 cloves of garlic, sliced into quarters

• 1/3 cup of flour

• 1 ¼ cup chardonnay, white wine

• 1 ¼ cup beef stock

• 3 tablespoons Worchester sauce

• 2 bay leaves

• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

• 2 tablespoons horseradish

• 2 tablespoons butter

• 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced

• Chopped parsley or chives to garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Place a large Dutch oven or stock pot on the stove over medium heat. Add two tablespoons of vegetable oil. Then add the bacon and let it cook, turning occasionally for about 4 to 5 minutes until it cooks and renders some fat in the pan. Then discard the bacon.

Turn the heat up to medium high, add the meat, season with pinch of salt and brown it on all sides in two batches. Remove it to a side dish.

Turn the heat down to medium. If needed, add an additional tablespoon of oil and add the onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add the flour and stir for a minute to brown the flour. Then slowly add the white wine as you stir it in. Then slowly pour in the beef broth, continuing to stir so a sauce begins to form. Mix in the Worchester sauce and add the bay leaves. Then return the beef back to the pan.

Place the lid on the pot and put it in the oven. Let it simmer in the oven for 2 hours.

Once the beef has cooked, take it out of the oven, remove the lid and place it on a burner over medium low heat. Stir in the Dijon mustard and horseradish. Meanwhile in a medium sized skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter. Then sauté the mushrooms, stirring so they brown on both sides. Add the mushrooms to the braised beef. Serve over mashed potatoes. This recipe serves six.

If entertaining, this dish can made ahead. Allow it to cool and then refrigerate. To reheat, place it back on the stove top and simmer over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes until warmed through. Add a little beef broth if needed.

Mashed potatoes

• 6 medium russet potatoes peeled and diced

• 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

• 1 ½ cups cream or milk

• 2 teaspoons kosher salt

• Ground pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a large pot and cover them with cold water about one inch higher than the potatoes. Then bring the potatoes to a boil over medium high heat. Cook for 25 minutes until they are soft.

Drain the potatoes and then rice them with a potato ricer or mash them in the pot. Add the butter, cream, salt and pepper and mix with a rubber spatula until they are light and creamy.