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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.