French beef stew

French beef stew


Luke Nguyen's France
Alan Benson

This classic French beef stew is made with various cuts of meat, loads of vegetables and a selection of herbs, to create a slow-cooked meal that offers a hearty combination of ingredients as well as a flavour-packed broth. Try this recipe when you have time to let it simmer.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg beef shoulder, cut into four pieces
1 beef cheek
8 cloves
2 onions, peeled and halved
2 beef bones, with marrow
6 leeks, white parts only
2 celery roots, peeled, (the bottom end of the stems, which are usually trimmed off)
1 bouquet garni, made by tying together 2 bay leaves, 1 thyme sprig and 4 parsley sprigs
1 tablespoon sea salt
5 black peppercorns
4 potatoes, peeled and halved
8 small turnips, trimmed and peeled
5 baby carrots, trimmed and peeled
1/2 small cabbage, cut into six pieces
finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, to serve


Quantity Ingredient
sea salt
dijon mustard


  1. Place the beef shoulder and beef cheek in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, skimming the surface to remove any impurities. Remove from the heat, then transfer all the meat to a plate. Discard the water and clean out the pan, then return all the meat to the pan.
  2. Push the cloves into the onion halves, then add to the saucepan, along with the beef bones, leeks, celery, bouquet garni, sea salt and peppercorns. Cover with 6 litres cold water.
  3. Bring to the boil, skimming the surface again to remove any impurities. Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, then skim the surface again. Leave to cook, uncovered, for 2½ hours.
  4. Add the potato, turnips, carrots and cabbage and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
  5. Divide the meat, vegetables and broth among deep serving bowls. Scatter with the parsley and serve with the accompaniments.
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