• This sensational cinnamon beef stew with port, shallots and streaky bacon recipe must be simmered slowly and is absolutely delicious mopped up with French bread. Yum!

    Hearty cinnamon beef stew with port, shallots and streaky bacon

    Serves: 6
    Cooking Time: 3 hrs 20 mins


    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 130g streaky bacon, rind removed and finely chopped
    • 1kg stewing beef, cut into 3cm cubes
    • 60ml (¼ cup) red wine vinegar
    • 16 shallots, peeled and left whole without cutting through the root
    • 4 tsp tomato purée
    • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
    • 2 tsp cake flour
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
    • 1 thinly pared piece of orange peel, about 5cm
    • 1 cinnamon quill
    • 80g black olives, pitted
    • 250ml (1 cup) port
    • about 1L (4 cups) hot beef stock/enough to cover the meat
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 125ml (½ cup) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve
    • parsley rice, to serve
    • French baguettes, to serve



    Preheat the oven to 150ºC.


    Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in an ovenproof pot over a medium heat. Add the bacon and cook for 5 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.


    Brown the beef in batches in the same pot and add it to the bacon.


    Add the vinegar to the pot and let it bubble until it has reduced by half. Pour it over the beef and the bacon.


    Heat the remaining oil in the pot and add the shallots. Cook, stirring continuously, until they are lightly golden, about 5 minutes.


    Add the tomato purée, garlic and flour, and cook for 1 minute before returning the beef, bacon and vinegar to the pot.


    Add the bay leaves, thyme, orange peel, cinnamon and olives, and stir to combine. Pour in the port and bring to a simmer. Add enough stock so that the liquid level is no more than a couple of centimetres below the surface of the meat. Put the lid on the pot and place it in the oven to stew gently for 3 hours.


    Remove the cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Season and add the parsley. Serve with fluffy parsley rice and French baguettes.


    Peel shallots by soaking them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse them under cold water, then peel with a knife. For parsley rice, simply add freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley to the rice and toss well.

    ALSO SEE: Tomato, aubergine and parsnip stew with torn roasted tofu

    Tomato, aubergine and parsnip stew with torn roasted tofu

    Recipe by Karen Short

    Styling by Colette le Clus and Leigh Miles

    Photograph by Graeme Borchers