Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Beef stew

I was working from home yesterday and decided to make beef stew for dinner. It's one of those dishes that doesn't take much time to prepare but would require hours in the oven (while one carries on with other activities) and the result is really worth the wait.

Beef stew served with brussel sprouts and warm crusty bread to mop up all the gravy.
Beef stew

Ingredients (serves 4):

800g casserole steak, cut into cubes
Flour for dusting
8-10 shallots, peeled
8 button mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
2 large carrots, cut into chunks
A small handful of thyme, chopped
300ml beef stock
300ml red wine
2 tbsp tomato puree
Salt and pepper
Paprika (optional)
A handful of parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas mark 3. Heat some oil in a heavy based pan and brown the beef in batches, taking care not to overcrowd the pan otherwise the beef will steam rather than brown. Transfer the beef to a casserole dish. Add the shallots, mushrooms, carrots, garlic and thyme to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes (one ingredient at a time if necessary) before transferring to the casserole dish.

Add the stock, wine and tomato puree to the casserole dish, season with pepper, a little salt and paprika and bring the mixture to the boil on the stove, stirring to mix well. Cover and cook in the middle of the oven for 3-4 hours. The time will depend on the cut of the meat, the longer it takes, the better it gets so it is worth being patient. The dish is ready when the meat breaks apart easily when mashed with a wooden spoon. After it is cooked, the stew can be kept in the oven on 110C/gas mark 1/4 until ready to serve. Sprinkle the parsley onto the beef stew just before serving. Lovely with rice, potatoes or fresh crusty bread.

The stew can also be cooked in slow cooker/crockpot. Just toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker rather than a casserole dish and leave it on 'Low' for 6 hours or longer. Leave for the office in the morning and come back in the evening to the wonderful smell and taste of comfort food.


Kevin said...

Beef stew is great comfort food. It does take a while to cook but the "fall apart in your mouth" beef is so worth the time.

Greg said...

Nothing wrong with this dish whatsoever! The presentation is nice. How do you get your brussel sprouts to look so perfect?

Nilmandra said...

Indeed, Kevin, that's what my husband said, that the beef stew was the ultimate comfort food to come home to after a bad day at work.

greg: Thanks! I didn't do anything special with the brussel sprouts, just cooked them in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes - making sure not to overcook them so they don't turn a mushy green!

Fi said...

Yum, that looks fantastic! Is the bread from a local baker - it looks so yummy.

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