Belly-warming Beef Stew

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Along with the pretty colours of Autumn, comes that turn in the weather (not this year of course, because our Summer hasn’t been its best. Boo!!).

Suddenly, our homes are a little damper, bellies so much hungrier and our bones start to feel the cold creeping in. Our bodies start to crave hot, carb-filled meals, full of yummy starch and warming goodness. And to top it off, we have to think about what to make for dinner?? Talk about a downer…

So in our house, when this does happen (although, I have been making this Stew all summer because we love it a bit too much and it’s been the coldest few months since I’ve been here) we listen to our bellies (because life’s too short not to).

From the fresh vitamin filled veggies to the garlic bursting with antioxidants and the mouth-watering gravy you can’t go wrong.

Also, you could make a batch and freeze it or making it for dinner we’ve always had leftovers for lunch the next day. and who can say no to that?!

So here it is, my –

Belly-warming Beef Stew

-Beating the cold one flavour at a time.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks Celery
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 or 3 Carrots
  • 10 Baby Potatoes
  • 2 or 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 tbs oil
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs Tomato Purée
  • 2 tbs Worcester Sauce
  • 1 Stock Cube (optional)
  • 600 ml water
  • 400g Stewing Beef
  • 2 tbs flour
  • Herbs (See Bouquet Garni instructions below)

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How to:

  1. Dice your veggies and put them to one side (bite sized chunks are good)

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2. Crush your garlic. (We are CRAZY Garlic lovers here so you can adjust the amount you put in if you don’t like garlic That much)

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3. Toss your Beef in with the flour and brown over a medium heat. Remove from pan and set aside.

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4. Fry your onions in the oil on a low heat until translucent and yummy.

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5. I’ve added in a few tomatoes because we’ve just had SO many recently. (Eh, more Vitamin C you say? Why, thank you!!)

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6. Now, toss it ALL into the pot. Stir in tomato puree, Worcester sauce, butter, 600 ml water, stock cube (if using), and beef.  Throw in your Bouquet Garni, and just remember to fish it out before you serve (It looks a bit soggy and gross after being in the pot for so long)

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Gently simmer for 2 hours (covered) or until beef is tender. 

Serves Two Adults with yummy leftovers for the next day.

Making a Bouquet Garni –

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What is a Bouquet Garni and why the heck do I need one:

Well first off, it literally translates to ‘Garnished Bouquet’ which is really just a bundle of herbs tied together and used to flavour soups, stews or even stock and then removed before you dig in.

You need one if you’re a crazy ‘fuss-pot’ (like my husband) ha, I kid. Kinda. AND you Hate the ‘little bits’ of stem or bark or leaf. Say Hello to bit-less food, you whiner 😉

Now, I think you can just buy these but the difference in flavour and aroma is completely different with all the fragrant fresh herbs. Seriously, give it a go. (I don’t wana be the only weirdo saving all my garlic packaging)

So to make mine, I gather up all my herbs and give them a good wash to remove any grit. (I put in what ever I have that’s woody and maybe a couple whole peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, cloves).

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Then if, like me, you buy your garlic in those three packs that come packaged in net bags, and Save them. Ta-Dah a nifty use for them. Yay, Go me! (You’ve probably found a better use for them though)

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All you have to do is shove all your herbs into the net bag (tear the leaves up a bit to realease all the magical flavour), tie both ends et

Violà! 

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Yes, yes, you could just use a piece of string but then you wouldn’t be cool, like me 😀

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Pair your stew with some crusty bread and prepare yourself for a scrummy dinner.

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If you have any deliciously filling, cold-weather food, I’m all ears….

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