Hearty Winter Beef Stew

By Saturday, November 15, 2014

Now that the days are getting shorter and colder, it really is starting to feel like Winter. At this time of year, there is something so comforting about indulging in hearty meals. This stew really hits the spot and is packed full of flavour and goodness. It is slow-cooked, making the meat deliciously tender, and the liquid is reduced down after the stew is cooked, creating an incredibly concentrated and flavoursome gravy for the stew. This recipe is dummy-proof, affordable and really delicious. It is beautiful served on its own, but made even more inviting with a slice of freshly baked Cornbread!

Serves 6-8

You will need:
1.2kg beef chump, diced
300g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1 kg chicken stock
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp tomato paste 
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 red onions, sliced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp honey
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 110 degrees/ gas 1/4. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large oven-proof saucepan with half of the beef. Season well and fry until nicely browned. Spoon the pieces out of the pan onto a plate and add another tablespoon of oil into the pan. Fry off the remaining beef until browned then remove from the pan and onto the plate. Then, fry the mushrooms, onions and garlic in two batches until nicely browned, remembering to season each of the batches. 

Then, return the beef, mushrooms, onions and garlic to the pan with the chopped tomatoes, chicken stock, bay leaves, red wine vinegar and honey with plenty of seasoning. 

Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and place in the oven for 4 hours until the meat is deliciously tender. Then, strain the meat, mushrooms and onions out of the sauce and leave to one side. Place the saucepan over a high heat and boil for around 10 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half. This will intensify the colour and flavour of the gravy. Pour the beef, mushrooms and onions back into the pan, stir well, serve with cornbread. Enjoy! 

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