This hearty, comforting dinner will warm you up and keep your belly full and very satisfied on a cold night.

Be careful though: this is definitely napkin-wearing territory as the beetroot's fantastic colour it isn't going anywhere if it comes near you.

I've topped this meal off with one of my personal favorite ways to eat potatoes, the fondant, to soak up the bourguignon sauce and all those lovely flavours.

You'll be glad you took the time to make this, and make sure you make extra as it tastes even better the next day with some hot buttered crusty bread straight out the oven.

Or maybe make the left over fondant potato into mash… that is of course if there's any left.

Serves 5


180g green or puy lentils

Olive oil

Large white onion finely diced

6 garlic cloves crushed

Half a small pack of fresh thyme

Half a pack of fresh parsley

Tin of tomato puree

4 tomatoes cut into chunks

2 bay leafs

Pack of mushrooms (sliced)

Handful of dried mushrooms - mix these into the stock to add to the taste

4 pints of vegetable stock

Two tablespoons of dairy free butter

Salt and pepper

Bottle of any local dark ale or porter, I used Williams Bros Midnight Sun as its got a lovely big bold taste that carries well in any stew or bourguignon

Decent splash of red wine or port

Large jar of silver skin pickles

5 large potatoes cut flat on the larger sides then peeled into a nice curved shape

5 large beetroots halved and cut into wedges

4 large carrots cut into chunks


1 Cook the puy lentils in a big pan of boiling water for about 30min, when ready drain and set aside for adding later.

2 In a baking tray throw all the root veg in with some olive oil, garlic, half of the thyme and some salt and pepper. Roast this slowly in the oven whilst you are making the stew checking and turning over maybe every 15 minutes.

3 In another tray add the potatoes and 1 ½ pints of stock, the dairy free butter and salt and pepper (you want to half cover the potatoes). Pop this on the lower shelf of the oven and let it cook until the stew is ready, this normally takes about an hour or so at 180 degrees.

4 Fry off the onion and garlic till softened and then add the mushrooms, stir and turn until coated with oil and starting to colour then add the thyme, bay leaf, tomatoes and a splash of the wine, next the tomato puree then stock.

5 Let this reduce a little bit and then add your lentils, then once evenly coated add the porter, the silver skin onions (drained) and cook away on a very low heat.

6 Once your root veg has a nice shine and still has a bit of bite to them to the pot. You can add salt and pepper if you feel the need. Once it's reduced down and is nice and thick and everything's looking like its pretty happy hanging out together then you know its ready.

7 Throw in a nice handful of chopped fresh parsley and now all you have to do now is plate up.

I like to put it all in a big bowl with the potato on top and maybe some dressed rocket or something else green like beans or broccoli… oh and don't forget to add a big glass of red wine for yourself to go along with this.