I just can’t get enough of stew at the moment. It’s just so comforting and such a pleasure to come home to. The nights have grown cold and it’s always dark by the time I get home. What better way to warm my cockles than with a hearty stew of meat and vegetables served with dumplings. I have already brought you my chicken and lamb stews so here is that old classic beef. I bought a cheep cut of beef at my local butcher. I just got a slice of frozen meat, then cut it into chunks myself. I served this stew with roasted cabbage steaks. I’m not fond of boiled cabbage at all, but roasted it is delicious. It really brings out the sweetness and I would definitely recommend that you give it a try.
500g of Beef or steak chunks
1 large onion
3 cloves of garlic
A glass or two of red wine
1 litre of beef stock
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
A few sprigs of fresh herbs or 2 tablespoons of dried (thyme, rosemary, parsley)
100g of butter
200g of flour
1 tablespoon of mixed herbs
salt & pepper
ice cold water
1/2 a large cabbage
Salt and pepper
A drizzle of olive oil
1. Chop the onion and garlic into chunks and fry off in a little olive oil for a few minute until translucent. Then put them into your stew pan. Chop the beef into chunks then toss in seasoned flour and fry for a minute or two until browned on all sides. Do this in small batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Then add them to the stew pan. Then chop the carrots and potatoes into large chunks and fry off in the same pan for a few minutes and add to the stew pan
2. Put the stew on a medium heat and add the herbs, Worcestershire sauce and wine, then cook off for a few minutes. Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat so it is simmering. It will need to cook for about 2 hours. If the stock gets too low, you can add a little more. The stew is done when the beef is tender. If you used a cheap cut be patient as it will get to the falling apart stage in the end.
3. To make the dumplings mix the herbs, salt, pepper, and flour together and then grate the butter into the flour. Gently mix it together. Add the cold water a spoon at a time and very softly bring it together in to a loose dough. Do not work it into a ball, keep it loose then break off lumps and roll them gently to form balls. Add them to the top of the stew, then cook for another 20 minutes.
4. To make the cabbage steaks, slice the cabbage into one and a half inch slices. Lay them onto a flat baking tray then sprinkle with salt and pepper and brush them with olive oil. Be careful not to use too much oil as you don’t want them to be greasy. Bake them in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes then flip them over and bake them on the other side for 10 minutes. They may be a bit hard to handle so be careful they don’t break apart.