To start, peel and chop the carrots, onions and garlic, and pop into a large, deep saucepan with a generous splash of olive oil. Sprinkle about two tablespoonfuls of chopped fresh rosemary over the top. While that’s sizzling, wipe the mushrooms to remove any dirt and chop into small pieces.
Once the vegetables have started to soften, add the bacon lardons, and then once the meat has lost its pink colour, put in the mushrooms and a scoop of butter. You can use rashers of bacon, of course, but the chunky lardons go beautifully with the texture of the stew, and the extra bit of fat really contributes to the rich flavours. Drain and rinse the borlotti beans and add those too.
Next, pour in the red wine – there should be a good hiss and a sizzle. Stir until most of the liquid has disappeared, then add the stock and pour into the saucepan. Season generously, then turn the heat right down and leave the stew to simmer for at least an hour.
When the meat is cooked make the cornflour into a paste with a drop of cold water and add slowly to the pan stirring all the time, until the gravy reaches the right consistency
When you’re about ready to serve, make up the couscous according to the instructions on the packet, then add to the stew and stir through once it’s soft and fluffy. Taste and season if necessary, then ladle out generous bowlfuls and serve with fresh bread and plenty of butter – fabulous.