boeuf bourguignon – serves 4

1 kg beef shin, cut in large 5cm cubes
125g smoked bacon lardons
4 cloves garlic, chopped
18 shallots, peeled but left whole
2 onions, sliced
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 bouquet garni (sprigs of thyme, rosemary and flat-leafed parsley tied with string)
200g button mushrooms
1 ltr Burgundy (a pinot noir - can use other red wine but the flavour will be different)
2 tbsp goose fat
25g butter, softened
25g flour

Preheat the oven to 160ºC

Season the beef with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Heat half the goose fat in a casserole dish over a high heat. add the beef and brown well. allow each surface to brown well before giving a stir to turn over each piece.

Remove the beef and add in the rest of the goose fat to the casserole. add the bacon, garlic, shallots and onions and fry, stirring now and then, until browned

Mix in the tomato puree and return the beef to the casserole, with the bouquet garni. add the mushrooms and pour in enough wine to cover the beef. Stir well, put a lid on the pan and bring to the simmer. Put the covered casserole dish to the oven for 3 hours until the beef is tender.

Using a slotted spoon, lift out the beef and shallots and pile into a serving bowl, keeping warm.
Mix the butter and flour together to form a beurre manie.

Bring the sauce up to the simmer. Whisk the beurre manie into the sauce a little at a time, stirring until the sauce reaches the required thickness

Pour the sauce over the beef and serve with buttery mashed potatoes, some good crusty bread and large quantities of red wine


A really simple, classic French stew - the large number of shallots are essential. They melt into the sauce giving a nice sweetness