Beef and Red Wine Stew

Cook time 1 hour
Servings 4


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

400ml red wine

4 beef cheeks (about 1kg in total), sinew removed and trimmed

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, cut into 1cm rounds

1 x 10cm pieces of celery, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, bruised and chopped

1 tbsp plain flour

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 1/2 tbsp cognac or brandy

1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs and 3 parsley sprigs tied together with kitchen string)

4cm strip of orange zest

500ml beef stock

150g speck, cut into lardons

Salt and pepper

Mashed potato, to serve

Beef and Red Wine Stew


Bring the wine to the boil in a saucepan and simmer for 5–8 minutes to cook off the alcohol.

Remove the cheeks from the fridge 1 hour before cooking and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Sear the beef cheeks, in batches ensuring they are well browned on each side and then remove. Now cook the vegetables (onion, carrot, celery and garlic) for 4-5 minutes to soften and lightly caramelise. Season with salt and pepper. Add the tomato paste and cook off then return the beef cheeks and any juices left on the plate. Add the flour and coat the meat and vegetables and cook for a further minute.

Add brandy then the wine, bouquet garni, orange zest and stock. Season with salt and pepper and lock the lid. Cook under pressure for 45-60 minutes (timing will depend on the size of the beef cheeks).

While the beef cheeks are cooking, put the speck into a frypan. Place on a medium heat and fry until the fat begins to render and the speck become crisp.

Carefully remove the meat from the sauce and cover. Discard the bouquet garnis. Simmer the sauce for 4-5 minutes if you’d like the sauce to be a little thicker.

Portion cheeks between plates and pour the sauce over. Garnish with crispy pancetta with serve with a dollop of creamy mashed potato.