Braised beef with anchovy toasts

This slow-cooked dish makes a cheaper cut of beef skirt tender and melt-in-the-mouth. It’s freezable too so great for a simple, budget dinner party

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:2 hrs
  • Serves 6
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 740
  • fat 37g
  • saturates 15g
  • carbs 29g
  • sugars 14g
  • fibre 5g
  • protein 65g
  • salt 3.04g


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 750ml bottle red wine
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1½ kg piece lean beef skirt, cut into large chunks
  • 6 anchovies in oil, chopped
  • 400g shallots, peeled
  • 500g Chantenay carrots, stalk ends trimmed
  • 140g Kalamata olives
  • 6 anchovies in oil
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley, plus extra to serve
  • 1 French stick sliced, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole dish and fry the onion for 5 mins. Stir in the garlic and bay leaves and fry for 5 mins more.

  2. Pour in the wine, stock and sugar. Mix the flour with the tomato purée and 3 tbsp water. Tip into the wine mixture and stir continuously until thickened. Then add the meat and anchovies, cover and leave to simmer for 1 hr.

  3. Stir in the shallots, carrots and olives. Cover and simmer for 1 hr more until everything is tender. Meanwhile, for the anchovy toasts, grind the anchovy fillets using a pestle and mortar until smooth (or very finely chop), then beat into the butter with the parsley and lots of black pepper. If freezing, spoon the stew into a container or freezer bag. Repeat with the anchovy butter. To defrost, put both in the fridge to thaw overnight, then reheat the stew in a pan.

  4. To serve, grill the slices of French bread until lightly toasted, then spread with the anchovy butter. Serve on top of the beef stew and scatter with parsley.

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