Vegetarian recipe ideas
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Turn the slow cooker on to your preferred setting. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the lardons, onion, celery, garlic, bay, thyme, rosemary and parsley stalks for 15 mins, stirring occasionally, until the fat on the lardons has rendered down and the onion and celery are soft but haven’t taken on any colour. Stir in the tomato purée, then deglaze the pan with a splash of red wine, scrapping any caramelised ingredients off the base of the pan. Tip it all into the slow cooker.
Generously season the flour with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss the beef through the flour until evenly coated. Tip any left-over flour into the slow cooker and stir to combine.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and, working in batches, fry the beef, carrots and mushrooms until evenly golden. As before, deglaze the pan with red wine between each batch, adding the contents of the pan to the slow cooker. Brown the shallots separately, then set aside.
Finally, deglaze the pan with the remaining wine, bring it to the boil, then pour into the slow cooker, cover and leave to braise for 4-5 hrs if cooking on high, or 6-7 hrs if cooking on low, until the meat pulls apart easily with two forks. Add the shallots to the pan for the final 1 hr 30 mins of cooking.
Once cooked, remove the aromatic herbs and season to taste. Leave to stand for 15 mins then serve sprinkled with parsley, with either silky mashed potato or a bowl of tagliatelle.