1 kg lean braising beef (chuck, blade or rump) cut into 2 cm dice
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
100g thick-cut rashers smoky bacon, cut into 2cm dice
150g butter (optional)
10 shallots, chopped
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
200g button mushrooms (halved if they’re large)
1 tbsp smoked Paprika
1 cup good red wine
1½L good-quality beef stock
2 tbsp corn flour mixed to a paste with a little water (optional)
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup snipped chives
¼ cup chopped parsley
This rustic French dish is so much more than just a beef stew.
When its made properly, with loads of mushrooms and shallots
and tasty bits of smoky bacon its out of this world. If you have time,
you can marinate the beef overnight in red wine. The marinade
can be added to the casserole, but make sure you skim it first to
remove any impurities.
Season the beef with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-
based casserole over a medium heat. When the oil is sizzling,
brown the beef in batches, so that the heat stays high. Transfer the
browned beef to a plate.
Add the bacon to the casserole and fry until golden brown.
Transfer to a plate with the beef.
Add the butter to the casserole and when it sizzles add the
shallots. Fry over a medium heat until the shallots start to soften
and begin to colour a lovely golden brown. Lower the heat and add
the diced onion and carrot. Sauté for 5 min until they soften.
Add the mushrooms and sauté for 4 min, stirring from time to
Stir in the paprika then add the wine and stock. Return the beef
and bacon to the casserole, increase the heat until the liquid boils,
then lower the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, for 1 ½ hours,
or until the meat is tender. Top up with stock or water if drying out.
To thicken the sauce stir in corn flour paste. Simmer for a further 5
min, until sauce thickens. Serve with sour cream and fresh
herbs and plenty of buttered new potatoes.