Right, normal service soon to be resumed – thank you all for your patience – a tough 10 days at work now over…all is well with the world and today I said hello to winter with a stonking beef stew that warmed cockles and fortified frozen bones. It is a common dish but one that still needs a tender hand and a little attention along the way to adjust the flavour to exactly what you want it to be.
Ingredients for 4
800 gm of stewing steak- you could also use shin – just leave it in about 20 minutes longer
4 slices of smoked bacon chopped into bite sized pieces
50 gm butter
1 500 gm bottle or can of Guinness
Beef or chicken stock
A tablespoon of chopped thyme
2 bay leaves
About 12 chestnut mushrooms
500 gm of baby onions or 4 medium sized onions quartered
8 baby plum tomatoes
Salt and black pepper
Toss the beef in seasoned plain flour. Heat the butter in a large frying pan with a little olive oil. Brown the bacon pieces and transfer to a large casserole. Then brown the onions – add these to the pot.
Then add the beef and fry gently until golden. Once you have added the beef to the casserole deglaze the frying pan with a little of the Guinness. Add these magical juices to the pot too.
Now add the rest of the Guinness to the casserole plus the thyme and bay leaves. Add a little more salt and black pepper.
Bring to the boil then simmer with the lid on gently for about two hours. Then add the tomatoes. Cook for another 45 minutes then add the mushrooms whole. Add a little hot water if it looks too thick but you do not want it to be thin.
Make some dumplings and add these for a further half an hour or so.
I served it with buttery horse radish mashed potatoes.
Warming and filling and wonderfully wintery in all respects!