Beef Stew.

Monday, January 09, 2012

(Serves 4-6)
- 800g stew beef cubes (chunks)
- 200g berastagi potatoes (or any hard potatoes)
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut to chunks
- 2 cups beef broth (or 2 cups hot water mixed with 1.5 knorr beef cube)
- 1.5 tbsp Worcester (Worcestershire) sauce
- 1 glass red wine
- 250 packet portebello mushrooms, quartered
- 6 sprigs of thyme (can also use mixture of thyme and rosemary)
- 3 dried bay leaves
- 1/2 tbsp slightly crushed black peppercorns
- 4 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large white/yellow onion, diced
- 1 garlic bulb, separated into cloves and peeled
- olive oil
- plain flour
1.        Season the beef cubes with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Grease dutch oven or casserole with a thin layer of olive oil. When the oil is heated, add beef cubes one at a time (you will hear a gentle sizzle and see slight smoking) to form one layer on the pan. Do not overcrowd the meat. Let the cubes brown on one side, then flip over with kitchen tongs and brown on the other side. Take out browned meat and set aside. Add more oil to the casserole if needed and repeat till all the beef cubes are browned. Do not discard the brown bits or juices collected in the casserole.
2.       Add a bit more olive oil to the casserole. Then add diced celery and onions and ‘sweat’ them on medium low heat (about 3 -5 minutes). You will see them turning brown from soaking the juices left in the casserole.
3.        Pour a glass of red wine in and saute the celery and onions till the alcohol has evaporated and you smell the nice aroma of the wine.
4.        Stir in 1 tbsp plain flour and cook for one minute more to thicken the mixture.
5.       Add beef stock and when it comes to a simmer, add carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns, thyme, garlic, mushrooms and Worcester sauce. Bring the stew to a simmer.
6.       While waiting for the stew to simmer, peel potatoes and quarter them.
7.       By the time you are done with the potatoes, the pot will likely be bubbling away and the mushrooms would have shrunk somewhat, making space for more ingredients in the casserole. Add potatoes and browned beef cubes to the casserole.
8.       When the ingredients come to a simmer, off the stove. Cover the Dutch oven or casserole with lid and transfer to an oven. Bake the casserole at 180C for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
9.        After the baking, take the Dutch oven out (using silicon oven gloves). Check the consistency of the stew. I find mine a little too watery so I add 1 more tbsp plain flour to thicken the stew. Stir through to dissolve the flour. Adjust to your liking. If it’s too dry, you can add more beef broth or hot water.  Test taste the stew and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper, if needed.
10.   Serve beef stew with rice or bread.

Cooking Tips
- If you do not wish to bake the stew, you can simmer on the stove top till the beef is tender and the gravy is reduced to a consistency of your liking.
- To adjust the consistency of the stew gravy, add beef stock or hot water for more liquid and plain flour for thicker gravy.

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  1. Love stew at this time of the year - your's looks delish!

  2. Nice recipe. I always make my stews in the oven, too. By far the easiest way to make them! Anyway, thanks.

  3. I love a great beef stew anytime of the day!


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