Braised Beef with Red Wine, Fennel & Cinnamon

Cooking time
Serves4 people
Gluten-free diets
Braised Beef with Red Wine, Fennel & Cinnamon

Inspired by the wine-laden French stew Boeuf Bourguignon, this hearty beef braise takes the classic combination of beef, bacon, red wine and pot vegetables one step further by adding a few extra aromatic spices to give it warmth and depth of flavour.


  • 500g braising steak
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 100g smoked steaky bacon
  • 2 onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 500ml red wine
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 500ml boiling water
  • 4 carrots
  • 4 celery sticks
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 3 hrs 15 mins

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1. Place the beef in a dish with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and a pinch of salt. Prick the meat all over with a fork to help it absorb the flavours. Turn to coat, then set aside for a few mins.
2. Put a large, lidded pan over high heat. Snip the bacon into 2cm-thick pieces. Add to the hot pan. Lower heat a little. Fry the bacon till golden and crisp. Spoon out of the pan and set aside on a plate.
3. Add the beef (and any marinade from the dish). Fry the beef for 4-5 mins, turning, till it’s coloured on each side.
4. While the beef fries, peel and thinly slice the onions. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Add them to the pan with the spices and bay leaves. Fry for 2-3 mins or till the onions have just softened.
5. Pour in the wine and crumble in the beef stock cube. Top up with 500ml boiling water. Bring to the boil. Lower the heat and pop a lid on the pan. Gently simmer for 1½ hrs.
6. While the stew simmers, peel and thinly slice the carrots. Thinly slice the celery. Add them to the pan along with the thyme leaves. Pour in 750ml water. Simmer for an additional 1½ hrs over low heat, or till the meat is fall-apart tender.
7. Taste and adjust the seasoning. This stew is delicious with roast potatoes or serve it with roasted wedges of squash.
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