Beef and watercress bourguignon

Enjoy this gorgeous warming dish as the weather starts to turn cool 

Autumn has arrived and winter is around the corner, spelling colder days and a yearning for hearty, warming dishes. And what could be better than this delicious recipe for beef and watercress bourguignon, supplied courtesy of chef Suze Morrison and the Watercress Company? The addition of watercress to this classic favourite adds a peppery, punchy taste as well as loads of extra vital vitamins. So, make, cook and enjoy…


Serves 6 

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 3 hours 20 minutes 


• 1 tbsp rapeseed oil

• 1kg braising steak, with some fat, or chuck/ skirt, shin, cut into large pieces

• 2 onions, finely sliced

• 3 cloves of garlic, minced

• 200g button mushrooms, whole

• 50g watercress

• 1 tbsp plain flour

• 2 tbsp tomato puree

• 500ml red wine

• 500ml rich beef stock

• 4 bay leaves

• 10g parsley stalks

• 3 sprigs thyme

• Salt and  black pepper 


This is best made the day before you want to serve to allow the flavours to develop.

Preheat oven to 115C. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over a medium high heat. Mix the flour with a little salt and use to coat the beef.

Brown the beef in 4 batches on all sides, waiting until the meat releases itself from the pan with ease. Do not overcrowd the pan or else the meat will steam instead of caramelising. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate to rest.

In the same pan, add the onions and a small splash of water. Scrape the base of the pan to release the crusted pieces and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and sweat the onions for 10 minutes or until soft, translucent and sweet. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for 4 to 5 minutes more or until the mushrooms begin to caramelise and lose their moisture.

Add the tomato puree and cook out, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the meat back to the pan and pour in the wine. Increase the heat and bubble for 3 to 4 minutes or until reduced by one-third. Add the stock and tie the bay, parsley and thyme in a bundle with string. Add this to the pan along with the watercress. Cover with a lid and pop into the oven for 3 hours. Check the meat, it should easy yield to a blunt fork. When done, remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill in the fridge overnight.

The next day, bring the stew back to room temperature before heating in a low oven until hot through. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as the flavours will be more mature by now. Serve with pillows of mash and green vegetables. Delicious!