I love my South African heritage, so I sometimes feel that I don’t share my favourite French recipes nearly often enough. And despite popular belief, they’re not (all) as fussy as they’re made out to be. With this recipe, I combined two absolute classics. Basically, a vol-au-vent is a light, hollow case of puff pastry (handy, right?) that you can fill with a variety of fillings. Bordelaise, named after the famous Bordeaux region, is one of those classic French sauces that is usually made with bone marrow. But to simplify matters, I used bacon in this version, which gives it a delicious twist of umami.


TIME: 2½ hours | SERVES: 4


for the bacon bordelaise sauce

30 ml olive oil

1 peeled onion, halved and very thinly sliced

3 garlic cloves

3 fresh thyme sprigs

2 bay leaves

375 ml red wine

15 ml olive oil

200 g Eskort Lean Diced Bacon

500 ml beef stock

salt and freshly ground pepper

for the vol-au-vent

1 sheet 400 g puff pastry

1 egg, beaten

for the mushroom and bacon filling

60 ml olive oil

4 peeled onions, halved and sliced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

300 g exotic mushrooms

15 ml butter

15 ml olive oil

200 g Eskort Lean Diced Bacon

for the garnish

6 baby mushrooms, thinly sliced

micro salad leaves


for the bacon bordelaise sauce

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, and bay leaves. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce the volume of liquid by two-thirds. In a separate saucepan heat the 15 ml olive oil and fry the bacon. Add the stock and cook until warm. Add the bacon and stock mixture to the reduced wine mixture. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Let the sauce cook rapidly until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half and the sauce has thickened. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve.

for the vol-au-vent

Heat the oven to 200 °C. Place the pastry on your work surface and use two different-sized cookie cutters. Press out eight circles using a 9½ cm cookie cutter. Use a 7 ½ cm cookie and press out the centers of four of the larger circles. Place the 4 whole circles on a baking tray that is lined with baking paper. Brush the top of the four whole circles with egg wash. Carefully place the cut-out circles on top and egg wash on top. Place in the oven and bake for about 35 minutes till golden brown.

for the mushroom and bacon filling

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and fry until soft and golden. Season with salt and pepper. Slice the larger mushrooms into bite sized pieces. Heat the 15 ml butter and fry the mushrooms till soft. Season with salt and pepper. Heat the 15 ml olive oil in a saucepan and add the bacon. Fry unil crispy.


Spoon the fried onions into the vol-au-vent cases and top with the fried mushrooms and bacon. Garnish with the thinly sliced mushrooms and micro salad leaves. Spoon the sauce into a serving bowl and carefully place the vol-au-vent in the sauce.

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