I wasn’t sure what to call this and I know that the photos really do not do this dish justice, but this truly is heaven in a bread bowl ! Thats it, thats what I will call it, ‘Heaven in a Bowl’, perfect. I know Hubby will moan that for SEO reasons thats a terrible title, but on this occasion I just don’t care !

Trust me, I do not say this lightly, but this is the most gorgeous, most filling, most hearty, warming and homely dish that I have ever eaten, I am in love with this dish, its the perfect winter warmer and with frosts forecast and the nights drawing in, this is just what the doctor ordered.

We used a gorgeous sourdough from Waitrose, ‘Gail’s potato & rosemary sourdough loaf ‘, the rosemary just complimented the dish perfectly, with a nice glass of red wine, served with green beans, this is the dish of the winter for me. Coming in from a cold, dark evening to the smell of this cooking, candles lit, glass of wine already poured, I would feel the luckiest person alive. Easily pleased you may be thinking, but for me sometimes its the simple things that count.

Buon appetito



Serves 4

700g very thinly sliced beef sirloin
Cracked fresh black pepper
¼ teaspoon onion powder
4 tablespoons plain flour
Olive oil
2 onions, quartered and thinly sliced
10 ounces/280g white mushrooms, sliced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
4 cups beef stock, hot
4 sourdough bread bowls, centres hollowed out and reserved for dipping
4 slices provolone cheese


Add the thinly sliced beef sirloin to a large bowl, and season with a couple of pinches of salt and cracked black pepper, plus the onion powder, and toss to coat; sprinkle over 2 tablespoons of the flour, and again, toss to coat.

Place a non-stick pan over medium-high heat, and drizzle in about 3-4 tablespoons of the oil; once hot, add about half of the sirloin in, and allow it to brown for about a minute or two, then toss, and allow it to brown on the other sides for another 1-2 minutes, and remove onto a plate, repeat with the remaining half of the sirloin, and set aside.

Next, add a little more oil to the pot if needed, and add in the sliced onions, along with a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper; allow the onions to caramelize for roughly 6 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning them, until golden-brown and softened; then, add in the mushrooms, and allow them to continue saute with the onions for another 6 minutes or so, stirring frequently.

Add in the dried thyme and the garlic, and stir.

Once the garlic becomes aromatic, sprinkle in the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour (the tablespoons can be a bit “heaping”) over the onion/mushroom mixture, and stir well to combine and blend; next, slowly add in the hot beef stock, stirring all the while to avoid any little flour “lumps” from forming.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, and allow the stew to simmer gently for about 10 minutes, uncovered, just to “tighten” it up a bit, and to allow the flavors to marry; after 10 minutes, turn off the heat, and add the seared sirloin back in, along with any accumulated juices, and stir to combine; check to see if you need any additional salt/pepper.


To serve, ladle some stew into your hollowed out sourdough bowls, top with a slice of provolone, and place the bread bowls onto a foil-lined baking sheet and under the grill for just a couple of moments to melt the cheese and make it gooey.



Serve with some of the hollowed out, left-over sourdough bread on the side, for dipping.