King of the jungle, Christopher Biggins's unapologetically simple name for his main suggests a hearty winter warmer free of frills. But will his Come Dine With Me Celebrity Special guests be expecting something more dressed up?

Serves 6 Ingredients
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 175g bacon lardons
  • 1.4kg braising beef, trimmed and cut into chunks roughly 6 x 2.5cm
  • 300g brown onions, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 300g medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 25g plain flour
  • 75cl bottle red wine
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled and mashed with back of knife
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 dried bay leaf, crumbled
  • 300g button mushrooms
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method: How to make beef stew

Preheat oven to 160ºC/gas mark 3. Melt 25g of the butter with the oil in a large, flame-proof casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until its fat turns golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and put on a plate.

2. Wipe the beef dry with kitchen towel. Fry the beef in the same pan in batches until browned on all sides, turning with tongs. Don't add too many pieces at a time or the beef will steam instead of sear. Transfer the meat to a plate as it is browned.

3. Tip the onions and carrots into the casserole and cook until softened and slightly golden, stirring regularly. Return the beef and bacon and sprinkle with the flour, turning all the meat to lightly coat.

4. Pour over the wine and stock. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and herbs. Bring to a simmer on top of the hob. Cover with a lid and cook for 2½-3 hours or until the meat is very tender. Remove the lid every hour and stir the meat, checking for tenderness after 2 ½ hours.

5. Melt the remaining butter in a small frying pan and fry the mushrooms until golden. Stir the mushrooms into the stew about 15 minutes before the end of cooking time and return to the oven. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve.

Please note this recipe is the contestant's own and has not been tested professionally. Like the Come Dine With Me contestants, you could be creating a culinary delight or dining disaster, so switch on your ovens and be bold.
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6/10/2011 03:07:01 pm

Great recipe, tasted good on the day and only improved with re-heating. Would recommend to anyone!

Hev Symonds
8/6/2011 06:37:36 pm

I watched Christopher Biggins last week on Come Dine With Me and thought his Winter Stew looked great. I stupidly thought I would check out the 4 comments first to see if anyone else has made it and to see their opinions.
My thanks go to Peter for the one sensible comment. I will try the recipe,thanks to Peter, but the other three commenters need to get some form of life I think!

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We made this today and it fed six of us and was very tasty, definately have it again.

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