Can you believe it’s December this week! I certainly can’t. It feels like only yesterday we were taking advantage of the long summer days however I guess that’s a consequence of having children.
With the day’s cold and the nights long, I’ve started to get a hankering for comfort food. Nothing beats arriving home, to be greeted by the welcoming aroma of a slow cooked stew. The deliciously tender meat and deep rich gravy is my idea of heaven in the chilly winter months.
The discovery of my favourite beef stew happened by chance a couple of years ago. The hearty flavours in this simple classic had me hooked after the first spoonful. Since then it has been a regular contender for the dinner table although overtime I have made some subtle changes.
My recipe originated from Jamie Oliver . I’m a big fan on Jamie. Whether you’re looking for something quick and simple, something a little lighter or something indulgent, he’s your man. That’s what makes him my go to chef if I need some inspiration.
You’ll notice that Jamie’s recipe calls for red wine. I tend to leave this out of my recipe although I have used it on the odd occasion. As I’m not a drinker of red wine it isn’t something which we tend to have in the house. However if you’re hoping for a more sophisticated stew I would recommend substituting about 325ml of the beef stock for red wine. It certainly adds an extra richness to the gravy, like a cross between your Grandma’s stew and a dinner party bourguignon.
One of the things which I love about stew is that it’s such a versatile dish. You can easily mix up the vegetables depending on what’s in season or what you already have at home. When making a stew I like to use the recipe as a guideline. Everyone has their own idea of what constitutes a perfect stew so get creative and put your own twist on it!
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 parsnips
- 1 swede
- 4 carrots
- olive oil
- 1 knob of unsalted butter
- 800 g stewing steak, cut into pieces
- 150 g smoked bacon lardons
- plain flour
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- 610 ml beef or vegetable stock
- a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC/300ºF/gas 2.
- Peel and chop the onion, garlic, parsnips, carrots and swede.
- Heat a little oil and the butter in a casserole pan on a medium heat, add the onion, garlic and bacon lardons then fry for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Meanwhile, toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan.Brown for a couple of minutes before adding all the vegetables, the tomato purée and stock.
- Season generously with black pepper and just a little sea salt.
- Bring to the boil, place a lid on top, then place in the oven until the meat is tender.
- Once cooked, turn the oven down to about 110°C/225°F/gas ¼ and just hold it there until you’re ready to eat.
- Once cooked the meat should be tender and fall apart easily. The cooking time can vary depending on the cut of meat you are using. You can easily check by removing a peace of meat, if it falls apart then the stew is ready.
Did you enjoy this recipe? Why not give Banana nice cream a try?