Rich Beef in Red Wine

I’d probably need a loaf of bread to mop up that sauce

Rich Beef in Red Wine from the Hairy Dieters is a little too rich for my palette, but nevertheless is a lower calorie adaption of the French classic dish, beef bourguignon. After 2 hours and 25 minutes of cooking in the oven my patience was waning, but in hindsight I should have put it back in and reduced the sauce down further.

Some dishes are worth the wait, but when watching my weight I want something on my table a bit more pronto. But at least I got to guzzle the remaining wine out of the bottle while becoming increasingly starving. One slower cooking recipe I would wholeheartedly recommend though is lamb tagine. Different meat, different country of origin, different culinary experience entirely. Try it.

Recipe: Rich Beef in Red wine   

Calories: 416 per portion (without mash)

Serves: 6

Book: Hairy Dieters – Eat for Life

Prep time: Approx 15 minutes

Cooking time: Approx 2 hours 25 minutes


  • 1.25kg good braising steak (preferably chuck steak)
  • 150g rindless lean smoked back bacon (about 5 rashers)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 medium onions (finely chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 300ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 500ml cold water
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 3 busy sprigs of thyme
  • 400g small shallots
  • 250g button chestnut mushrooms (wiped and halved)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • Freshly chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
  • Flaked sea salt
  • Ground black pepper

Cost per portion: Approx £2.95 (without mash or rice)  


Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C / Fan 150 degrees C / Gas 3 ½ . Trim the braising steak of any hard fat and cut it into chunky pieces, each about 4cm. Season the beef really well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Trim the bacon of any visible fat and cut it into 2cm-wide strips.

Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Fry the beef and bacon over a medium-high heat for 3 minutes until lightly browned on all sides, turning every now and then.

Add the onion and garlic to the dish and fry for 2 minutes more. Pour over the wine and stir in the tomato puree and water. Crumble over the stock cube, add the herbs and bring to a simmer. Stir well, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 ½ hours.

While the beef is cooking, peel the shallots. Put the shallots in a heatproof bowl and cover with just-boiled water. Leave to stand for 5 minutes then drain. When the shallots are cool enough to handle, trim off the root close to the end so they don’t fall apart and peel off the skin. Set aside.

Take the casserole dish out of the oven and stir in the shallots and mushrooms. Return to the oven for a further 45 minutes or until the beef is completely tender.

Mix the cornflour with the 2 tablespoons of water until smooth and stir this into the casserole. Place the dish on the hob and simmer for 1-2 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Don’t stir too much or the beef could fall apart.

Adjust the seasoning to taste, sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve with small portions of rice or mashed potatoes and green beans.


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