Oh my. Its been a long time since I made beef stew. Its not really something to be honest that crops up in my mind as I tend to cook fairly quick meal but having been sent a lovely piece of brisket in my Knorr Hamper – cue me googling it and subsequently trying to explain delicately whilst manoeuvring into cow position within the kitchen as to where it comes from on the cow to a bemused friend (google it if you want a giggle), it needed using up and what better than a winter warming stew! Even more considering the ghastly weather of late - I hope that everyone is keeping well and warm! This is also 'the beef' that should have been intended for an ill fated beef bourginnon the previous week!
Whilst I had heard of brisket, it wasn't really something that I was familiar with cooking, even less so handling a huge slab of beef but with a sharp knife it was quickly reduced to more familiar chunks! Nothing fancy went into the stew, however the beef was such good quality it really didn’t need any lights or bells on to take it to new heights!
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion roughly chopped
800g beef brisket
3 sticks celery, sliced at an angle into 1cm chunks
3 carrots, diced into 1 cm chunks
1 knorr beef stock pot
2 heaped tbsp. plain flour
Medium sized glass of red wine
S&P to taste
*I sold my old casserole pan, which would be perfect however my largest saute pan did the job nicely!*
1) Start by heating 1 tbsp of the oil and browning the beef, you might need to do this in two stages – don’t crowd the pan
2) Remove any remaining beef from the pan to one side, add the remaining oil and brown the onion, stir in the flour, stock pot, then gently add the water stirring briskly and scraping off any stuck on bits, return the beef, cover and simmer on low for a good hour.
3) Add the carrots and celery, stir and cover and allow to gently plod away for a good 2 to 3 hours, giving the cursory stir when the lovely smells draw you into its path. Remove the lid for the last half hour to allow the sauce to thicken if desired.
4) To finish the dish, I used up some cute little onions that also came in my Knorr hamper, though totally optional!
200g Baby onions
100g white mushrooms. Sliced into 4
1) Cover the onions in boiling water and sit for a few minutes, fish them out carefully, top and tail and peel – most of the skins should rub off. Reserve the soaking water.
2) Heat roughly 100ml of the onion water with 3 tbsp of port, add the halved onions and gently boil for around five minutes or until just softeneing, add the mushrooms and a splash more of the water if drying out, repeat for about 15 minutes or until the onions are cooked but retain a little bite. Use these to garnish your stew
Finish) Once the stew is at the desired thickness, and tenderness top with the onion mix, and serve with fresh green vegetables I.e. broccoli and maybe a nice potato dish. After my success with the other potatoes, I picked up a small bag of a variety called Corrole, though this time instead I boiled them, drained, added butter, fresh parsley and lemon juice (from a bottle), s&p to the same success, albeit minus the nice crispy bits. Still delicious. You can’t taste the lemon, it just adds a certain something and I will be repeatedly making potatoes this way!
Re-heats and freezes beautifully
Thanks again to Knorr and Golin Harris for my goodies :)