Beef and Bacon Stew

Beef Bourguignon with a twist

This is my twist on the classic French dish that is boeuf bourguignon. The beef is braised in a rich red wine sauce, flavoured with bacon, red onions, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and thyme. The twist? White miso paste! A tip I got from Bon Appétit. It adds huge depth of flavour and a much needed umami punch without making the whole thing taste like miso soup.

About the meat: It’s worth getting good-quality, well-marbled beef from your butcher for this recipe. Shop-bought meat is often quite lean and will dry out during the braising process, instead of becoming meltingly succulent.

About the wine: It’s worth going for a decent bottle of red wine. It doesn’t have to be exceedingly expensive, but perhaps don’t go with the cheapest bottle you can find!

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Meat


  • 1 kg good-quality stewing beef
  • 200 g smoked bacon lardons
  • olive oil
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 2 tbsps double concentrated tomato purée
  • 2 medium carrots, quartered
  • 200 g chestnut mushrooms, cleaned with a damp cloth and halved
  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 heaped tablespoon white miso paste
  • 2 tbsps plain flour
  • 500 ml dry red wine
  • 500 ml rich, good-quality beef stock
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped


  1. Cut the beef into 3 cm to 4 cm cubes. Pat dry and season generously with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
  2. Heat your oven to 150℃ / 130℃ fan.
  3. Place the bacon lardons in a cold, large Dutch oven with 2 tbsps olive oil. Heat the Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered out and the bacon is golden brown and beginning to crisp, around 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a large bowl, leaving the rendered fat behind.
  4. Working in 2 or 3 batches (depending on the size of your Dutch oven), sear the beef pieces: cook undisturbed on one side until nicely browned, around 5 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Don’t rush this part – properly browning the beef will add huge depth of flavour to the final dish. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot – if you do, you will boil the beef in its juices instead of searing it. If it feels like it’s burning rather than browning, add a little more olive oil. Once browned, transfer the beef pieces to the bowl with the bacon in it.
  5. If necessary, add another splash of olive oil to the Dutch oven. Add the onions cut side down. Cook undisturbed until beginning to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side.
  6. Add the tomato purée and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to darken. Don’t worry about the onions breaking apart – they’re supposed to.
  7. Add the carrots, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, miso paste and season with a generous pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until the vegetables are evenly coated.
  9. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the red wine and stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the Dutch oven to incorporate any stuck bits into the stew. Cook, stirring constantly, until you can’t smell the alcohol anymore, 3 to 5 minutes.
  10. Add the beef stock and bay leaf and return the beef pieces and bacon to the pot, along with any juices that have accumulated. Bring the stew to a simmer, cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and transfer it to the oven. Bake for 3 hours at 150℃ / 130℃ fan, or until the beef is nice and tender.
  11. Taste and season the stew with salt and pepper, to taste. Top with the fresh parsley and serve with crusty bread or mashed potatoes and steamed green vegetables. Enjoy!

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