low-calorie cooking oil spray
625 g (14 lb) stewing beef, trimmed of fat and cubed
100 g (3½ oz) bacon, diced
300 g (10 oz) small shallots, peeled
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon plain flour
150 ml (4 pint) red wine
300 ml (2 pint) beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato purée
small bunch of mixed herbs or a dried bouquet garni
salt and pepper
chopped parsley, to garnish


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Spray a large frying pan with a little low-calorie cooking oil spray and place over a high heat until hot.
2.Add the beef a few pieces at a time until all the meat is in the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef to the slow cooker pot.
3.Add the bacon and shallots to the frying pan and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the bacon is just beginning to brown.
4.Stir in the garlic and flour, then add the wine, stock, tomato purée and herbs.
5.Season to taste and bring to the boil, stirring. Pour the sauce over the beef, cover and cook on low for 10-11 hours until the beef is tender.
6.Stir the bourguignon, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with rice, if liked.
7.FOR BEEF GOULASH, follow the recipe above, adding 2 teaspoons mild paprika, 1 teaspoon caraway seeds, 4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 4 teaspoon ground allspice instead of the herbs.

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