This is one of my favourite winter dishes. It’s so comforting and tasty that I defy anyone to say they dislike it – unless of course you’re a vegetarian. Any meat that is slow cooked is a winner in my opinion. Now I’m not a fussy eater at all. I will literally eat anything – try everything once, twice if you like it. So I think everyone should try this to mix up their everyday beef stew. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with a French dish. They are always packed with flavour and usually use cheaper cuts of meat so you can make a refined dish for less money.

My recipe works out to cost about £4.19 per person which I think is pretty good! The recipe gives you 4-6 servings and I have based the costings on 4 people – only because I’m a feeder and I have a fear of not giving people enough food! I served mine with creamy mash and roasted veg as they are equally easy to do and can be prepared while the beef is still cooking. Another bonus of this recipe is it can all be chucked in the slow cooker before work and I can guarantee the meat will fall apart when you come home.

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 3-4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 1 large white onion diced.
  • 3 carrots diced.
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed.
  • 4 bay leaves.
  • Handful of fresh thyme sprigs – put them in whole as the leaves will fall off during the cooking process.
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs.
  • 200g baby button mushrooms.
  • 6-8 whole shallots.
  • 200g smoked lardons/ pancetta.
  • 1 bottle of red wine – a classic Bourguignon calls for a Burgundy, but I just used a relatively cheap Merlot in mine as it reduces anyway and still flavours the dish in the same way!
  • 3 beef stock cubes (I crumble mine in for a more intense flavour).
  • 600ml cold water.
  • 600g diced beef.
  • Salt and pepper.

Method:

  1. Season some plain flour and coat the diced beef. Add oil to a large casserole pan and brown off the meat in batches.

    img_1005
    Coating in flour and browning the meat is important to rid it of any excess fat. 
  2. Remove the meat from the pan and set to one side. In the same pan, add more oil and sweat off the garlic and onion on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the carrot, salt, pepper, thyme, bay leaves and dried mixed herbs. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the meat back to the pan and then add the red wine, stock cubes and water. Cook in the oven on 140 degrees for 1 hour. Make sure you stir occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  5. In the meantime, crisp up the lardons/ pancetta in a separate pan. Remove this before adding the shallots and mushrooms to soften in butter for 5 minutes.
  6. After 1 hour of cooking, add the lardons/ pancetta, mushrooms and shallots to the beef. Stir in and leave to cook for a further 2-3 hours. Stir occasionally and top up with water if required. It is impossible to overcook the meat so you can literally cook it for hours. The only thing to be mindful of is it may dry out and stick to the bottom.
  7. Serve with mash or roast potatoes and veg.

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Enjoy!

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