Tuesday, 19 May 2009
Italian beef stew.
Well, I say Italian, but it's nothing authentic.
This is a great way to make the most of a so-called 'inferior' bit of meat - after a few hours of cooking it becomes incredibly flavourful and everything melds together wonderfully.
There's also the added bonus of it being incredibly easy to do. Even though it takes a good 3 or 4 hours to cook, you're don't have to be anywhere near the stove during that time. It'll just bubble away quietly while you do other things. All in all this requires just 20 minutes of hands-on time.
1 kilo of braising steak, cut into chunks
3 medium red onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
salt + pepper
1/2 bottle of good red wine
1 tin of tomatoes
1 beef stock cube
3 bay leaves
4 large carrots
and an optional sprig of thyme, rosemary, oregano, whatever you have to hand
How to do it:
1. Chuck the onion and garlic into a big pot with the olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and cook over a low heat until softened.
2. Turn up the heat to medium and add the meat to the pot.
3. Add the wine, tinned tomatoes, stock cube and herbs. Grind in a fair amount of black pepper.
4. Top up with water and leave to simmer away for as many hours as you can, but a minimum of three. This makes the meat incredibly tender.
5. An hour before you plan to serve, add the carrots into the stew. You could also add mushrooms.
Today we had the stew with crushed potatoes and buttery pan-fried leeks.
It's also great with pasta, or even just some crusty bread to mop up the meaty juices.
P.S. I hate how stew always looks like dog food in photos. Delightfully delicious dog food, but dog food nonetheless.