Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Marek's favourite Beef Stew

Jamie Oliver is a great inspiration to most of us, in the UK. Am I right?
I love beef stew and could easily make it up as I go along (which I have several times), but this time I wanted to get some professional advice. I came across Jamie Oliver's "Jool's favourite beef stew".
I didn't have all the ingredients so I just ended up improvising a little, while using the basis of Jamie's recipe. I also came up with an amazing secret ingredient to create the most delicious stew....and this can be supported by my sweet man's words to describe this stew, and I quote "this is the best stew I've ever had!". I'm not lying, he really said that! And he really meant it! :)

(Feeds 4 people)

  • 500 g stewing beef
  • olive oil
  • knob of butter
  • 1 large onion - largely chopped
  • half a butternut squash - cubed
  • 1 large sweet potato - cubed
  • large handful of baby carrots - largely chopped
  • handful of fresh parsley - chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste 
  • 1 tbsp dried French herbs (I used herb provencial)
  • 4 cloves garlic - pressed but not chopped
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine
  • 1/2 litre (300ml) beef stock
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (not too much salt, remember your stock may be salty enough)

and for my secret ingredient...........ooouuuuu I don't know if I should tell you....uummm.....uuuhhh, ok, here it is.....drum roll please... drrrdrrrrdrrrrdrrrdrrrr.....

  • 4 tbsp of maple syrup (sshhhh, don't tell anyone. it's our little secret)
Instructions :
  1. In a large stew pot, heat olive oil and butter. Once butter is melted add the onions and saute with dried provencial herbs for about 7 minutes before adding the beef and all remaining ingredients
  2. Once all ingredients are mixed well in the pot bring it to a boil, then reduce heat
  3. Simmer on low for roughly 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally
That's all there is to it!
It's not necessary, but if you're a dumpling lover like me you can add these simple dumplings to your stew about 30minutes before it's finished. Beef stew and dumplings, yumm!!
Otherwise some nice crusty french bread along side your stew is also perfect!

  • 150g self raising flour, sifted
  • 75g shredded vegetable fat
  • warm water (just enough water to bind the dough, but not making it sticky)
  • pinch or two of salt
  • some chopped parsley - optional
Mix together the sifted flour and vegetable fat with your fingers until mixture is a cornmeal like consistency. Then add salt, parsley (if using) and water. Mix all together with your hands until it forms a large dough ball.
Tear off spoonful size pieces and roll each one to form a small ball (about half the size of a golf ball).
Drop each ball into the stew. The dumplings will expand while cooking. Cook for about 30 minutes.


No comments: