Tuesday, 17 May 2011

food inspiration

The weekend past saw beautiful endless sunny days, cool breezes, a visit to the farmers markets, lunch with a great friend and her dad, a quick visit to friend doing a photo shoot, cheeky wines with another fabulous friend, a visit from the parents and me doing something I love most in the world… cooking!

I forgot to take photos but trust me, this is a hearty and simple beef stew.  

Hearty Winter Beef Stew
inspired by Stephanie Alexander and Jamie Oliver

1.5kg chuck steak
120g plain flour
2tbs paprika
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 brown onions, chopped into medium chunks
2 large potatoes, chopped into medium chunks
2 carrots, chopped into medium chunks
1 sweet potato, chopped into medium chunks
1 tin of tomatoes
1 cup of red wine, something you like drinking
Salt and pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  • Cube the steak into bite size pieces, discarding any fat
  • Mix the flour and paprika in a small plastic bag and in small batches coat the beef, repeat until complete
  • Get out a large casserole dish and add the beef, garlic and veggies in until snug
  • Process the tin of tomatoes until smooth and pour over the meat and veggies with the red wine, season with salt and pepper, give it a good stir
  • Place a piece of baking paper over the contents and put the lid on top, and cook in your oven for 2 hours

I tend to check it half way through and give it a bit of a stir.

If you find your stew to be a little on the runny side like I did on Sunday night, you can do one of two things:
  1. Retrieve about ½ cup of liquid and stir in one or two teaspoons of cornflour until it makes a thick paste, stir this through the stew and put it back in the oven for about 10 minutes. This should thicken it: or
  2. Stir through 2tbsp of tomato paste at the end, this will also add to the richness of the flavour.
For something a little different, I like to do a 'Jamie Oliver' and finely chop some parsley and lemon rind to stir through just before serving, it just adds a zing and intensity to the flavour. Season to your liking with salt and pepper.

Serve the stew with crusty fresh bread and butter and a large glass of red wine. This is sure warm you from the inside out.

* This stew serves 4-6.
* I halve this recipe when cooking for myself. It also freezes well for those nights you don't feel like cooking.

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