A slow-cooked French classic.

  • PREP – 30 mins
  • COOKING TIME – 3hrs 30 mins
  • SERVINGS – Serves 8, (easy to freeze half)


  • 1 stick of celery
  • 3 carrots, peeled
  • 2 leeks
  • 2 onions
  • 4 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 kg braising beef, in chunks
  • 2 x 750ml bottles red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 75 g plain flour
  • 320 g cubetti di pancetta (smoked bacon works as well)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • chopped parsley, to serve


  1. Slice the carrots into medium (approximately 2cm) pieces. Halve the leeks lengthways, wash, trim and slice into slightly longer pieces.
  2. Place all the ingredients, apart from the flour, pancetta and oil, in a large bowl, and cover with the wine. Cover with a lid or clingfilm and leave in a cool place for 2 hours (or overnight in the fridge).
  3. Preheat the oven to 140°C, or use a slow cooker. Remove the meat and pat dry with kitchen paper. In a bowl, season the flour and toss the beef in it, ensuring all pieces are covered.
  4. Fry the pancetta in a dry frying pan until golden. Remove the pancetta using a slotted spoon, leaving the fat. Brown the beef in the same pan in batches – use the fat remaining in the pan for the first batch and a little oil for the following batches. Transfer to an 8-litre ovenproof casserole (or 2 smaller ones), or the slow cooker.
  5. Add the marinade and pancetta and stir together.

Cooking Options

  • Oven –  Bring to a simmer on the hob and boil for 2 minutes, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and transfer to the oven for 3 hours.
  • Slow Cooker – cook for 6-8 hours


Serve with a sprinkle of parsley