Serves 6-8.


6   slices bacon, cut into lardons
3   1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3   pounds stewing beef, cut into 2-inch chunks
1   large carrot, sliced
1   large white onion, sliced
1   pinch coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2   tablespoons all-purpose flour
3   cups red wine, like a chianti
2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups beef stock
1   tablespoon tomato paste
2   cloves smashed garlic
½   thyme
1   crumbled bay leaf
1   small pearl onions
18-24 tablespoons butter
1   herb bouquet (4 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf)


1. Simmer bacon lardons in 4 cups water for 10 minutes (Lardon is the French culinary term referring to thin strips of bacon, cut approximately 1/4-inch thick). Drain and pat dry.

2. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large Dutch oven, sauté the bacon in 1 tablespoon of oil for about 3 minutes, until it starts to lightly brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

3. Dry the beef with a few paper towels for better browning. In batches, sear the beef on all sides in the Dutch oven. Set aside with the bacon.

4. Back in the pot, add the sliced carrots and onions; sauté in fat until browned, about 3 minutes. If there's any excess fat, drain it now.

5. Add the bacon and beef back to the pot. Season with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Toss. Sprinkle with flour and toss once more. Place in the center of the oven for 4 minutes.

6. Remove pot from oven; toss beef and place back in the oven for 4 more minutes. Remove the pot from the oven and reduce the heat to 325°F.

7. To the pot, add the wine and stock. The liquid should barely cover the meat and vegetables. Add the tomato paste, garlic and thyme. Bring to a light simmer on the stove, then cover and simmer in the lower part of the oven for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is easily pierced.

8. In the last hour of cooking, bring 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and 2 teaspoons oil to a medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the pearl onions and toss around in the fat until they've browned, 10 minutes. Then stir in 1/2 cup beef stock, a small pinch of salt and pepper and the herb bouquet. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the onions for about 40 minutes, until the liquid has evaporated, and the onions are tender.

9. Remove the onions and set aside. Discard the herb bouquet and wipe out the skillet. Add the remaining butter and oil and bring to a medium heat.

10. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes, shaking the pan to coat with the butter.

11. Place a colander over a large pot. Drain the beef stew through the colander and into the pot. Place the pot with the sauce over a medium heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, skimming any fat on top. Pour the beef and vegetables back into the Dutch oven. Add the pearl onions and mushrooms to the pot. Pour the sauce over the beef mix and simmer an additional 3 to 5 minutes.

Julia Child, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, 1961.


Braised for hours and then left to rest, a beef-and-vegetable stew develops deep flavor.

Serves 6 - 8.


3   lbs. beef cheeks, cut into quarters
1   lamb shank
3   carrots, coarsely chopped
2   onions, coarsely chopped
3   bay leaves
2   sprigs savory or marjoram
1   sprig rosemary
4   green cardamom pods
8   green Sichuan peppercorns
6   juniper berries
4   cups red wine
3   T olive oil
    salt and freshly ground black pepper
1   T flour
1   lb. peewee potatoes


1. In a large bowl, combine the beef, lamb, carrots, onions, herbs and spices; marinate in the red wine for 24 hours.

2. Drain the liquid and reserve.

3. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and sear for 5 to 8 minutes.

4. Add the vegetable mixture and sauté for 4 minutes.

5. Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, then add the reserved marinade and 4 cups of water.

6. Reduce heat to low and cook for 4 hours.

7. Remove from heat and set aside for at least 45 minutes.

8. Bring 3 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until tender.

9. Add potatoes to the stew, reheat, season and serve.

Édouard Loubet, La Bastide de Capelongue, Provence, France.


Sun-dried tomatoes, like kombu, contain high levels of glutamate. This glutamate combines with the inosinate present in meat, to produce umami’s signature synergistic effect.

Serves 4.


200   g beef fillet (fat and sinew removed)
20    g sun-dried tomatoes
50    ml sake
1     pinch of salt


1. Cut the beef into strips, 3cm wide and 5cm long.Sprinkle lightly with salt and set aside for one hour.

2. Soak the dried tomatoes in the sake for half a day,then heat gently until tender.Mix to a paste in a blender.

3. Place (1) and (2) together in a bag and vacuumseal it. Leave in the fridge for one day.

4. Grill until the surface of the meat is browned on all sides; keep the centre of the meat at around 40 degrees Celsius.

Yoshihiro Takahashi, Hyotei, Kyoto, Japan


Serves 4.


2     x 400 g beef fillets
      olive oil, for frying
500   g mixture of wild mushrooms, cleaned
1     thyme sprig, leaves only
500   g puff pastry
8     slices of Parma ham
2     egg yolks, beaten with 1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt
      sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the red wine sauce

2     tbsp olive oil
200   g beef trimmings
4     large shallots, peeled and sliced
12    black peppercorns
1     bay leaf
1     thyme sprig
1     splash of red wine vinegar
1     x 750ml bottle red wine
750   ml beef stock


1. Wrap each piece of beef tightly in a triple layer of cling film to set its shape, then chill overnight.

2. Remove the cling film, then quickly sear the beef fillets in a hot pan with a little olive oil for 30-60 seconds until browned all over and rare in the middle. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.

3. Finely chop the mushrooms and fry in a hot pan with a little olive oil, the thyme leaves and some seasoning. When the mushrooms begin to release their juices, continue to cook over a high heat for about 10 minutes until all the excess moisture has evaporated and you are left with a mushroom paste (known as a duxelle). Remove the duxelle from the pan and leave to cool.

4. Cut the pastry in half, place on a lightly floured surface and roll each piece into a rectangle large enough to envelop one of the beef fillets. Chill in the refrigerator.

5. Lay a large sheet of cling film on a work surface and place 4 slices of Parma ham in the middle, overlapping them slightly, to create a square. Spread half the duxelle evenly over the ham.

6. Season the beef fillets, then place them on top of the mushroom-covered ham. Using the cling film, roll the Parma ham over the beef, then roll and tie the cling film to get a nice, evenly thick log. Repeat this step with the other beef fillet, then chill for at least 30 minutes.

7. Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Remove the cling film from the beef, then wrap the pastry around each ham-wrapped fillet. Trim the pastry and brush all over with the egg wash. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes.

8. Meanwhile, make the red wine sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan, then fry the beef trimmings for a few minutes until browned on all sides. Stir in the shallots with the peppercorns, bay and thyme and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots turn golden brown.

9. Pour in the vinegar and let it bubble for a few minutes until almost dry. Now add the wine and boil until almost completely reduced. Add the stock and bring to the boil again. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 1 hour, removing any scum from the surface of the sauce, until you have the desired consistency. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve lined with muslin. Check for seasoning and set aside.

10. When you are ready to cook the beef wellingtons, score the pastry lightly and brush with the egg wash again, then bake at 200°C/Gas 6 for 15-20 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and cooked. Rest for 10 minutes before carving.

11. Meanwhile, reheat the sauce. Serve the beef wellingtons sliced, with the sauce as an accompaniment.

Gordon Ramsay, 2013.



Serves 2.


1   jalapeño, halved
1   serrano chile, halved
1   chile güero or fresh banana pepper, halved
½   small yellow onion
1   clove garlic, smashed
3   tbsp. grapeseed oil
    kosher salt
2   (8 oz.) flatiron steaks
1   bunch broccolini
1   bunch bok choy
1   tbsp. olive oil
    black papper
2   limes, cut into wedges
    fresh cilantro, for garnish
8   corn tortillas


In a large pot over low heat, cook jalapeño, serrano, Chile Güero, onion, garlic, and grapeseed oil until everything has softened, or for about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow time for the vegetables to cool.

2. Place cooled vegetables into a blender, reserving oil. Blend on high and slowly stream in reserved oil to emulsify. Continue blending Guacachile until smooth, and season with salt to taste.

3. Brush steaks, broccolini, and Bok Choy with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

4. On a gas or charcoal grill, place steaks over direct heat. (If cooking inside, set a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat until it’s smoking hot! )

5. Cook the steaks to your desired temperature: 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare, 3 minutes for medium.

6. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and sprinkle with more salt and a squeeze of lime and allow the meat to rest before slicing.

7. Serve with Guacachile salsa, cilantro, lime wedges, and warm tortillas.

Enrique Olevera, Pujol, Mexico City, Mexico.