A French classic with buckets of flavour


  • 4 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely sliced)
  • salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 1 kg stewing beef (cut into 2cm cubes)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (400g each)
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 700 g new potatoes (unpeeled, larger ones halved)
  • 2 tblsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tblsp pitted and chopped black olives
  • 1 tblsp chopped thyme or rosemary leaves


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F/Gas 3).
  • Pour the olive oil into the casserole dish or saucepan on a medium–high heat and, when hot, add the onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 6–8 minutes or until the onions are soft and lightly golden.
  • Tip in the beef and stir in the dish or pan for 2–3 minutes to brown the meat, then add the tomatoes and sugar. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1 hour.
  • Remove from the oven, season with a little more salt, then stir in the potatoes, cover and return to the oven for another hour or until the beef is tender and the potatoes are cooked through. Stir in the capers, olives and herbs, taste for seasoning and serve.