Beef stew with cinnamon and bay

Doesn’t the cooler weather make you long for succulent aromatic casseroles and stews? Well, this one is a cracker!

Those of you who have stayed with Clare or experienced her table d’hote dinners will vouch for the fact that she is an excellent cook.

So no apologies for recycling this fabulous recipe recommended by Clare. As she says it’s one of those recipes that can easily be scaled up – always useful to have in your repertoire.

For 12 people  use 1.5 kg of beef and .5 kg of pork (no pancetta) and  scale up the other quantities. Clare uses local Cotes de Baronnies for the wine. Serve with potatoes dauphinois and seasonal vegetables.



This is one of those recipes that can be made for two, as here, or scaled up (each time you double the recipe, add 20 minutes cooking time). For the cooking, choose a silky Burgundy, light enough to let the cinnamon to shine through.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 35 minutes, plus marinating
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes


500g rump or braising steak, in 3-4cm pieces
300ml red wine
garlic cloves, crushed
2 cinnamon sticks
bay leaves
70g cubed pancetta
30g salted butter
6 small shallotspeeled but left whole
12 baby carrots, or 3 large carrots cut into batons
1 tbsp plain flour
300ml beef stock


Put the meat, wine, garlic, cinnamon and bay in a large bowl, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.

Preheat the oven to 150°C, gas mark 2. Drain the meat, reserving the marinade, cinnamon and bay. Dry the meat on paper towels.

Fry the pancetta in a casserole over a medium heat until it starts to brown. Add half the butter, the shallots, carrots, prunes and reserved bay and cinnamon. Sauté until the carrots and shallots start to brown.

In a separate pan, melt the remaining butter, brown the meat (in batches, if necessary) and add to the casserole. Add the flour, stir well then add the reserved marinade. Bring to the boil. Add the stock. Return to the boil, cover and put in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes or until the meat is tender and the sauce thickened. Remove from the oven and stand, covered, for 20 minutes, then serve with buttery mashed potato. Alternatively, cool, refrigerate for up to 2 days and reheat.

This recipe was first published on in December 2005.

This recipe is from Waitrose Food Illustrated

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