Hearty Slow-Cooked Beef Stew

I know that it is still summer for those of you north of the Equator, but here it is cool enough for a good slow-cooked stew. Plus I had to use my new Le Creuset dish!

I think that this is a classic meal for a lazy weekend. The prep work can be done in the morning and the stew can happily cook in the oven for most of the afternoon, ready for a tasty dinner for the family. Plus there is minimal washing up, as you only need to use a frying pan and a casserole dish.

Another great thing about this dish is that it is economical to make as you use a cheaper cut of beef and plenty of vegetables. A nice big chunk of crusty bread is the ideal accompaniment. If you want to bulk the meal up a little more then add some pearl barley, but be sure not to overload your casserole dish.

By the way, my lovely new dish is 2.4 litres/2.5 quarts in size and this recipe fills it to the brim. A ceramic or stoneware dish is probably better than a cast iron one in this case – I could barely lift my stoneware dish out of the oven as it was pretty heavy when full. I would have needed a crane for a cast iron dish!

Ingredients – serves 4:

  • 3 heaped dessertspoons plain (all purpose) flour
  • 750g/26 oz diced beef such as chuck or blade (or any marked as ‘slow-cook’)
  • 3 tbsp oil (olive or vegetable)
  • 1 teaspoon dried garlic granules (or 2 garlic cloves, crushed)
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 150g/5 oz bacon, diced
  • 8-10 button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • black pepper, to season
  • 10-12 baby new potatoes, scrubbed but not peeled
  • 2 cups hot beef stock (I used a beef Oxo cube and boiling water)
  • 1 cup beer (anything that you have)
  • 1 cup frozen green beans

Method:

  • Put the flour and a little black pepper into a plastic food bag and then add the diced beef. Shake the bag to coat the beef with the flour.
  • Heat your oven to 160C/140C fan forced/320F.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a deep frying pan and then add half the beef. Cook for 3-4 minutes, turning with tongs until golden brown all over. Remove to a plate and repeat with another 1 tbsp of oil and the remaining beef.
  • Add the final 1 tbsp of oil to the frying pan and then cook the onion over a medium heat for a couple of minutes until just starting to soften.
  • Then add the carrots and bacon, stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Now add the mushrooms, thyme and a good sprinkle of black pepper, stir and cook for 2 minutes until the mushrooms just soften. Turn off the heat.
  • Put your casserole dish onto a baking tray (this will catch any juices that leak out of the lid during cooking).
  • Put a layer of the onion mixture into the bottom of the casserole dish, then a layer of beef. Next scatter over half of the new potatoes then continue the layering, finishing with the remaining potatoes.
  • Now that your frying pan is empty, pour in the stock and beer then put over a high heat and bring to the boil. Give it a good stir to ensure that you pick up any remaining herbs or other little bits of onion etc that are still in the pan.
  • Carefully pour the stock mixture over the beef in the casserole dish. Fill the dish right to the brim. If you have any left over stock then pour it into a jug and set aside in case you need to top up the liquid during cooking.
  • Put the lid on your casserole dish and then carefully lift it into your oven. Cook for 3 hours, turning the dish halfway through and also checking the liquid level at the same time.
  • Add the frozen beans to the dish and stir, then cook for another 30 minutes or until the beans are tender.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

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5 Responses to Hearty Slow-Cooked Beef Stew

  1. sybaritica says:

    That looks so hearty… and the beef looks like it is still firm and chewy 🙂

  2. Great comfort food and I am totally loving your pot. How cool is that!

  3. Pingback: Get ready for Valentine’s Day: Food for Love | Recipe Adaptors

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