Thursday, 3 July 2008

Beef and Spinach Stew

I am so sure I posted this months back but can't see it now!

Slow cooked beef and spinach stew

Serves: 4+
Prep: 10 mins
Cooking: 10 mins hob and 3 hours oven or can be adapted for slow cooker
Difficulty Low to medium


900g lean beef steak
300g fresh spinach
2 medium starchy potatoes cubed
1 pint* beef stock (Kallo cubes suitable)
75g pearl barley
100ml beer or lager
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp dried coriander
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 green pepper, cut into chunks
4 shallots (or 1 onion) diced
2 cloves garlic crushed
1/3 tsp garlic salt
1/3 tsp mixed ground peppers

Instructions for oven method:

1 - Pre heat oven to 170o elec, 150o fan. Place a large casserole dish in oven to warm through
5 - In a large frying pan, heat the oil to medium heat
6 - Add beef, shallots / onion and pepper, cook on medium for about 5-6 minutes till beef is browned, add beer and seasoning and simmer for 5 mins
7 - In the meatime rinse spinach and place in wide heavy pan and cook on medium-high till wilted down, should take no longer than 3-4 minutes
8 - Place pearl barley in a bowl with lots of water and microwave for 4 minutes, drain and put two one side (you can skip this stage if you soak overnight)
9 - Make your stock or if using fresh warm through
10 - Remove casserole dish from the oven
11 - Add beef mixture, pearl barley and spinach, mix well, pour on stock and mix thoroughly, add lid and place on middle shelf in oven
12 - Set timer for one hour
13 - Wash and roughly peel potatoes, chop into 2cm cubes, add to casserole mix, stir well, replace lid and set timer for one hour (in a slow oven you may need to par-cook the potatoes but I have a fan oven and doesnt require this)
14 - 1 hour later remove lid and stir, return lidless to oven
15 - 1 hour later mark check tenderness of beef by removing a small piece and slicing, if texture smooth then it is ready, if not return and check reguarly until happy with texture.
16 - Serve with fresh bread or tortilla wraps to mop up juices.

Instructions for slow cooker method:

1) If possible place the pearl barley in water and leave to soak overnight

2) Pre-heat slow cooker to low, make up stock if required, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large pan, fry the onions and meat until browned, add the spinach, green pepper, pearl barley, potatoes and the spices and the beer and bring up to the boil, add enough stock to cover and allow for the pearl barley to absorb its fair share and transfer to the slow cooker, cook on low for 8-9 hours.

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