Thursday, 4 March 2010

Beef stew with red wine

Serves 4

4 tbsp vegetable oil (of a quite neutral taste - like sunflower oil)
1kg stewing beef, cut into inch cubes (of course the best one comes from Yorkshire!)
3-4 carrots, peeled and roughly sliced
2 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
2 gloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
a handful of dried wild mushrooms (like Italian porcini) soaked in a cup of warm water (you will use this water later, so save it!)
approx. 200ml dry red wine (beef stews go very well with Guinness or ales, so you can use it instead of wine, or you can use vegetable or beef stock if you do not want to use alcohol at all. Obviously I recommend Yorshire beers i.e. Black Sheep or Old Peculier from local brewery.)
handful of fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary (you can use dried, but thy don not taste the same)


Heat vegetable oil in large heavy based pan and brown beef in few batches. Remove beef and fry onion, garlic and carrots for few minutes, stir in browned beef, mushrooms with water, wine, tin of tomatoes and approx. 3/4 tin of water (use empty tomatoes tin). Also I have added fresh herbs bundled together with a white cotton string (you can use you own bouquet garni or buy ready one) - they will infuse a stew with a flavour and can be easily removed before serving. Add some salt, pepper, cover and simmer over a low heat for approx. 2 hours.

You can also prepare this dish in a ovenproof casserole, in low temperature (around 150C) in oven for about 3-4 hours, or use a slowcooker, accordingly to producer's instructions.

Serve garnished with some fresh herbs. It goes very well with freshly baked homemade bread, fluffy mashed potatoes or polenta.

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