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Colder days and nights call for nourishing comfort food. Try these classic recipes from France, designed to warm the cockles of your heart.

Beef Bourguignon 
(Beef Burgundy) 

Serves 6 

This French stew is an old favourite and is delicious served with mashed potato and steamed vegetables. For the best stew of your life, start preparing this two days before serving and use homemade stock if you can.

Ingredients – Beef marinade

☐    800gm chuck steak, cut into 5cm cubes
☐    2 large carrots, cut on an angle
☐    16 pearl onions or small round pickling onions
☐    1 bay leaf
☐    3 sprigs thyme
☐    750ml red wine
☐    3 tbsp olive oil
☐    ¾ tsp salt
☐    ½ tsp pepper

Ingredients – Stew

☐   200gm button mushrooms, halved
☐    150gm bacon piece, cut into 1cm thick pieces
☐    50gm unsalted butter
☐    3 garlic cloves, minced
☐    2 tbsp tomato paste
☐    6 tbsp plain flour
☐     3 cups low sodium beef stock (homemade if you have it)
☐    ¼ tsp salt
☐    2 tbsp chopped parsley for garnish 

Method

1.    Firstly, marinate the beef.

2.     Place the beef marinade ingredients in a large ceramic dish or a ziplock bag. Marinate overnight in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours.

3.     Strain liquid, into a bowl, reserve marinade. Separate the beef, carrots and onion.

4.     Reduce wine by pouring it into saucepan, bring to boil over medium heat. Simmer vigorously, skimming off any impurities, until reduced by half. Set aside.

5.    Brown beef and vegetables.

6.    Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

7.  Line a tray with paper towel, spread beef out and pat dry.

8.    Season beef with salt and pepper.

9.     Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large oven-proof pit over high heat. Add 1/3 beef and brown all over. Brown remaining beef in batches, adding more oil if needed. Add beef to bowl.10.  Add bacon and cook for 3 minutes, remove and add to beef.

11. Saute mushrooms and cook until golden brown, remove and place in new bowl.

12. Saute onion, add more oil if needed and cook for 5 minutes until golden. Add to bowl with mushrooms.

13.     Add butter to pot and add carrot once melted. Cook for 3-4 minutes and add garlic. Cook for a further 1 minute.

14.     Add tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.

15.    Add flour and cook for 2 minutes.

16.     Slowly pour in beef stock, stirring constantly and then add wine and stir until flour is largely lump-free.

17.     Add beef, bacon, thyme, bay leaf and ¼ tsp salt and pepper into pot and stir well.

18.    It’s all about a slow cook from here.

19.     Bring to a simmer and then cover and transfer to oven for 1 hour.

20.      Remove from oven and add mushrooms and onion.

21.      Cover with lid and return to oven for 1-11/2 hours or until beef is fall apart tender.

22.      Remove from oven and test salt – add more if needed.

23.      If possible, leave the stew overnight as the flavour will develop.

24.      Reheat gently on a low stove and serve with fluffy mashed potatoes and steamed greens. Sprinkle parsley as a garnish.

To complete this meal, click here to make a delicious chocolate souffle.