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Celebrity French Cuisine: Carol Drinkwater’s Perfect Winter Stew

Perfect Beef Casserole

Carol DrinkwaterCarol Drinkwater, actress and author of the delectable Olive Series books and now film maker, shared a recipe with us for her “ perfect winter stew with beef, a little red wine and lots of onions and garlic…”

She says that she usually cooks this delectable casserole for “six people and whatever is left over can be heated and eaten the following day when it is equally delicious, if not more so. Here, in France, *I go for one and a half kilos of tender filets of Charolais beef. It is a little more expensive but worth it. A good tip I have learnt here in France is to mix two cuts of beef – a lean cut – a few chunks of fillet or rump – with one kilo of topside. This gives an excellent balance between tenderness and flavour. “





1 ½ Kilos Beef *
½ Kilo of white onions
4 cloves of garlic
2 tomatoes
3 carrots
One stick of celery
Olive oil
Red wine
Herbs, dried and fresh, if possible (Herbs de Provence)


1. Gently fry the sliced onions and garlic in olive oil until yellow to lightly brown.

2. Add the beef cut into chunks. Let the meat brown on outside.

3. Slice the tomatoes and add to the fry. Most chefs would peel the toms but I never do. Up to you… Add the chopped carrots and celery. Season with lots of herbs de Provence. If you have access to fresh herbs, I add two sprigs of rosemary, garlic and two Bay leaves as well. Add sea salt and black pepper to your taste. Pour two glasses of red wine over the meat and vegetables, let it simmer and then cover. Let it slow cook for two to three hours.

I cook this in an earthenware dish and quite shallow.

Note: If the meat is quite tough it can be marinated in the red wine with black pepper and bay leaves for twenty-four hours before cooking. The wine used for the marinade can also be used for the stewing the following day.

We serve this dish with spinach or a boiled green vegetable and wild rice or boiled potatoes.

It is a perfect winter dish.

Bon appétit


© carol drinkwater

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