Lazy Bones Beef & Ale Stew

Hullo.  I know, another post already.  It’s all I’ve got in the bag for now so god knows when the next one will potter along.

Another stew, so soon after the lamb shanks as well.  It’s probably breaking some core rule of food blogging but I don’t really consider myself a food blogger and I also don’t give a shit.  It’s blatantly stew weather here in the UK, Autumn means all the leaves are dropping from the trees like groupies deserting a failing boyband.  I hate those bloody leaves, they turn into death-slides at the merest hint of moisture in the air.

I’m quite grumpy today.  Maybe I need more stew.  I think it’s probably because I’m about out of Promite at home and it’s stressing me out.

Anyway here is some stew.  Brilliantly easy, one pot, delicious.  Everyone I know has a beef stew recipe – this is my version of a Jamie Oliver one, although to be honest they’re all the bloody same.  His is good because there’s no faffing about browning flour-covered meat.

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You want to gather:-
About 500g or so of stewing beef

500ml ale or guinness (I used a fancy one for the photo but actually used Speckled Hen for the dish)

some celery, 2-3 sticks

some carrots, 2-3

about 3 bay leaves

whatever leftover mushrooms you have in the fridge

indeed, any leftover veg you want to get rid of, really

oil, seasoning, the usual

tin of chopped tomatoes

bout a tablespoon of plain flour, although I’m sure nothing too heinous would happen if you used self raising.

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Roughly chop up the onion, carrot and celery.  In French they call this ‘mirepoix’ and in Italian ‘soffrito’ (if I remember rightly), often with the addition of garlic.

You can call it whatever you want.

Add the bay leaves, all in the same casserole pot with a nice big glug or two of olive oil.

Cook it over a medium heat for about ten minutes.

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In goes the beef and the plain flour, and stir it all through, cooking the flour off a bit.  It’ll go gunky.  Fear not.

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Chuck in the tomatoes and pour in the boozes.  Bring up to a simmer, stirring a bit.

You’ll have pre-heated your oven to 180C or Gas Mark 4.  Put the lid on the pot, throw the whole thing in the oven.

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Essentially you can cook this for as long as you want.  A good 3 hours would be minimum, I’d say.  Pull it out 2 hours in and have a look, add a bit of water if you fancy.  I did.  If you add a LOT of water, then make a little paste with some more flour and water and stir it through.  It’ll help keep the gravy thick.

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Now I cooked mine for two hours then let it cool, chucked it in the fridge overnight and did another two hours the next day.  This worked out fine.  Actually it worked fine for everyone but the fridge.  The shelf could not take the weight of the casserole dish and cracked in two.  Excellent.

For the last half-hour (if you’ve a ShitOven) or hour if you don’t, take the lid off.  It’ll look nice except for the incredibly burnt bits which have taken two days to soak off.
Cut up some parsley and stir through.  You should probably serve with some other veg.  We didn’t.

It’s very nice.  I ate it with a spoon.  I love eating stuff with a spoon.

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3 thoughts on “Lazy Bones Beef & Ale Stew

  1. narf77 says:

    Maybe I should make Steve this stew? He loves ale and beef and I am lazy…all combined makes this perfect for us! I have been so lazy that I have shunned my rss feed reader for 4 days and it has run amok. I am actually terrified at the amount of posts that are breeding exponentially for me to catch up and read. I can’t miss your posts though…entertainment for free! Who needs to do the 100km round trip to Launceston when I can guffaw out loud wrapped in a doona (too warm to light Brunhilda and too cold to sit about in my pj’s in the morning) slurping my first cup of tea while its still dark. Can I have those autumn leaves? I need them to mulch the garden for our coming hot dry summer. My nan came from Bolton in the U.K. and always had a jar of promite in her pantry. None of us good Aussies would touch it with a barge pole and we have our suspicions that it was what made our wednesday family get togethers with the enourmous stew pot in winter such a terrifying experience. Imagine…stew boiled all day to mush…tasteless aside from the 25 heads of celery that nan must have inserted to feed the masses and that needed at least half a bottle of H.P. sauce to cover the taste before you could choke it down and I WASN’T A FUSSY EATER! I can’t stand H.P. sauce to this day. Promite is synonymous with nans stew and is to be scorned rather than consumed.

    I prefer the soffrito as everything we eat has garlic in it. Even the cakes…the biscuits…EVERYTHING! ;). The mirepoix was a constant companion when I was learning to be a professional cook. Not so happy with that career BUT it certainly gave me the background info for making seriously good tucker when I have to :). As a greedy person from way back, I would mix equal parts butter to plain flour (make sure the butter is soft or its a bugger of a job) to make a Beurre manie and dolloop it in liberally rather than the flour and water as the difference in flavour (and calories) is out of sight! I keep a little bowl of it in the fridge because as previously mentioned, I am lazy, and last minute furious stiring together of butter and flour isn’t my idea of fun. Everything tastes better with a spoon. Sometimes I use the spoon and a fork at the same time but I am talented and wouldn’t advise this to anyone but the greediest people as it might end in tears (and stains). That stew has given me an idea for a 2 meal event. Meal 1, Stew, mashed spuds peas and carrots (my expat mans idea of heaven) and meal 2 some wonderful pies made with Maggie Beers sour cream pastry…cheers for a great idea for the weekend! Brunhilda might not be on par with shit oven in the heat stakes BUT she, too, likes to burn pots and we spend a lot of winter soaking pots before we could use them again. Lucky we have LOTS of pots isn’t it? 😉

    • b-kom says:

      Oh the butter and flour thing sounds very good…….better than your Nan’s stew!

      • narf77 says:

        ANYTHING is better than my poor departed nan’s stew! I think that is why I decided to head off to learn how to cook professionally, so I would NEVER cook anything that would break peoples spirits like nans stew! (It’s a wonder the Americans didn’t spirit her away like they did Nikola Tesla to force her to make chemical weapons for them!)

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