When Cape winter settles in one’s thoughts turn to delicious red wine casseroles and of course red wine. One brand we have been drinking quite a lot of, well priced quaffers , just the thing to throw down with no conscience are those from Brandvlei Cellars in Wellington. This great recipe used a bottle of their Merlot/Cab Sav blend and we drank a bottle with it and one while it cooked—it was 3 hours after all!!! Try it–real easy to do and MOST satisfying.

Gordon Ramsay’s Beef bourguignon Recipe

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 3 hrs, 15 mins
Skill level: Easy
Servings: Serves 4

This sumptuous, step-by-step recipe for slow-cooked stew from Gordon Ramsay produces a great winter supper


3 tsp duck fat or butter
600g shin beef, cut into large chunks
200g smoked streaky bacon, sliced
350g shallots or pearl onions, peeled or 2 large onions peeled and quartered
250g chestnut mushrooms (one punnet)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 bouquet garni
1 tbsp tomato purée
750ml bottle good red wine (used Merlot/ Cabernet blend)


  1. Heat a large casserole pan and add 1 tbsp duck fat or butter. Season the beef and fry until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes, adding more fat as appropriate. Do this in 2-3 batches, transferring the meat to a colander set over a bowl when browned.
  2. In the same pan, fry the bacon, shallots/ onions, mushrooms, garlic and bouquet garni until lightly browned. Mix in the tomato purée and cook for a couple of mins, stirring the mixture until the tomato paste starts to caramelize. This enriches the bourguignon and produces a great base for your stew. Then return the beef as well as any drained juices to your pan and stir through.
  3. Pour on the wine and approximately 100ml water, till the meat floats in the liquid, but isn’t completely covered. Bring to the boil and use a spoon to scrape the caramelised cooking juices from the bottom of the pan – this will give the stew more flavour.
  4. Heat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Cover the casserole with foil. Make sure that it covers the top of the stew and trim away any excess foil. Then cook for 3 hrs. If the sauce looks watery, get rid of the beef and veg with a slotted spoon, and place aside. Cook the sauce on the stove on medium high heat till it has thickened somewhat, then return the beef and vegetables to the pan.
  5. Serve with mash or polenta and vegetables if you feel like it (I served it with fancy carrots).