Eight Bells

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Saturday, July 15, 2006

Winter Stew

Hi folks, apologies for the lack of blogging, I have been slack again. I'm going to try to catch up over the weekend and then get back to daily entries (yes I've said it before I know). To tell the truth my interest wained a little and there's just been too much going on, I promise to do better.

This recipe is quite possibly the best stew/casserole dish I have ever tasted. Prep/cooking time is about 2 1/2 hours (most of that is waiting for the dish to cook in the oven). It is based on a recipe in Allyson Gofton's 'Casual Eating' recipe book with the addition of shitake and chanterelle mushrooms and a little more red wine than she uses. Allyson's recipe also uses bacon which we leave out as it can overpower the other flavours. You need to use good beef stock and good red wine, we have found a decent cabernet sauvignon merlot works well. This recipe serves around 6-8.

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
2 kg/4 1/2 lb of beef cut into 1 inch cubes (we always use shin but gravy beef or blade steak will do fine)
1/4 cup of tomato paste
3 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of red wine
2 1/2 cups of beef stock
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
300g/10 OZ mushrooms
1 bouquet garni
16-20 pickling onions, peeled
Salt & pepper

Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan or heatproof casserole dish and brown a third of the meat over a high heat until it is well browned (ensure it is well browned, the flavour of the dish depends on this step). The Le Creuset 'Marmite' is the perfect vessel for this. Transfer the meat to a plate and continue with the remaining beef and oil browning it a third at a time and removing the beef from the pan when done.
Add the tomato paste to the pan and cook, stirring until the tomato paste darkens to almost a deep brown, do not allow it to burn.
Stir in the flour and mix in well until the paste is even and has no specks of white flour. Add all the red wine and stir until the sauce becomes thick. If you have problems with lumps at this stage you may need to pass the mixture through a sieve.
Add the beef stock gradually making sure all the sediment is scraped from the bottom of the pan. Pour all the beef and sauce into a casserole dish and add the garlic and bouquet garni. Brown the onions in butter and add to the dish. Cover and cook at 180C/355F for 1 hour. This is what it looks like before it goes in the oven.

Brown the mushrooms slowly in a little butter and add to the dish after it has been cooking for an hour. At this stage we added a handful of dried shitake mushrooms and about 1/4 cup of dried yellow chanterelles.

Cook for a further hour.
Season with salt & pepper and serve with potato and pumpkin mash and steamed green vegetables. The perfect winter stew.


At 5:26 PM, Blogger lobsie said...

That looks absolutely fantastic! MMMMMM*drools*

At 8:55 AM, Blogger blerv said...

looks good. i think it's cute how you use that summer weather of yours as an excuse to eat genuine winter food.

At 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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