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Right. I need your best beef stew recipe

(66 Posts)
tethersend Wed 29-Oct-14 16:52:51

Please smile

I have the French in laws coming, and I've run out of things to cook. I think they'd love a traditional English beef stew and dumplings, but I've never made one as I don't like beef very much.

Can anyone share their recipe? Beer or no beer? I'm a fairly confident cook, but have never used beef before, so any help appreciated smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Oct-14 17:20:43

Mine's reasonably traditional......

1kg decent shin beef with a nice marbling of fat, cut into biggish cubes
1 bottle of Guinness
Tablespoon or two of seasoned flour
250g smoked cooking bacon, preferably in one piece, chopped.
1 large onion, chopped
Button onions or shallots, peeled and left whole
Bay leaves
Salt and pepper

Heat oven to Gas 2 or about 130C
- Soak the beef overnight in the Guinness then strain it off and reserve
- Place the seasoned flour in a plastic bag, add the beef cubes and shake to distribute
- Heat the oil in the casserole dish you'll be using and fry the beef in small batches until coloured on all sides. Reserve.
- Fry the bacon pieces in the same dish. Reserve.
- Finally colour up the chopped onion, return the meat to the dish, add carrots, herbs, seasoning & strained off Guinness. Stir gently, put on the lid and bake for 2.5 hours.
- Finally, add the button onions, stir gently again and return to the oven for another hour.

Voilà! Boiled beef and carrots guv'nor!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Oct-14 17:22:20

Two 'finally's blush You know what I mean...

tethersend Wed 29-Oct-14 17:29:52

Ooh, thanks Cogito- do you season the flour yourself? Or is seasoned flour a thing I'm unaware of?

What do you serve it with? Was thinking about Savoy cabbage or kale or something...

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 29-Oct-14 17:34:15

Just grind some pepper and salt into the flour. Tip.... don't taste this until it's been cooking for a good 2 hours. The Guinness can taste bitter in the early stages but mellows out towards the end.

TyneTeas Wed 29-Oct-14 23:33:43

Beef in beer is one of my favourite things!

If you use stout or a 'thick' bitter, then make it the day before : )

WanttogotoDisney Wed 29-Oct-14 23:35:28

Riverland Wed 29-Oct-14 23:39:53

Does anybody use OXO cubes? Do, just like I was taught at school. In beef stew, and in shepherds pie.

I also add Worcestershire sauce, garlic, tomato purée. Thicken with red lentils, no flour for me, except I roll beef cubes in seasoned flour before browning.

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Thu 30-Oct-14 00:44:16

I don't use beer or wine, but if you use good tasty beef and let it cook well it almost tastes like it has beer or wine in it, very rich.

I use lots of onions, celery if I have any, don't bother browning the beef, just cook the onions first, add meat, carrots in big chunks, new potatoes halved, swede if I have any and cover it all with hot water.

Add 3 red oxo, a squirt of tomato purée, a splash of Worcester sauce, thicken with cornflour/water mix (dp is gluten intolerant) and cook for 3-4 hours at about 150c. The next day it's even better.

I follow the dumpling recipe on the atora suet pack, sometimes adding some dried mixed herbs to either the stew or dumplings, or a sprig of rosemary to the stew if I can be arsed to brave the great outdoors to cut some.

Dp said it was the best stew he's ever had last week <preens>

Modestine Thu 30-Oct-14 00:59:08

shamelessly marking place

MimsyBorogroves Thu 30-Oct-14 01:24:44

Also place marking grin

darksideofthemooncup Thu 30-Oct-14 01:44:49

you need to do a Beef Cobbler
like this:
For the stew
90ml/3fl oz vegetable oil
3 tbsp plain flour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
900g/2lb chuck steak or stewing steak, cut into cubes
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots, cut into chunks
2 sticks celery, cut into 2cm/1in pieces
1 leek, washed and cut into thick rings
1 tbsp tomato purée
600ml/1 pint red wine
600ml/1 pint beef stock
1 bay leaf
For the wholemeal cheese scone topping
80g/3oz self-raising flour
100g/3½oz wholemeal self-raising flour
65g/2¼oz malted flour
pinch salt
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
150g/5½oz cheddar cheese, grated
175ml/6fl oz full fat milk
1 free-range egg, beaten
extra flour for dusting
parsley, to garnish
Preparation method
To make the stew, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Season the flour with salt and pepper. Toss the steak in the four so each piece is coated.
Heat half the oil in a casserole dish and fry the meat in batches until browned all over. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and fry the onion, carrots, celery and leek until just coloured. Stir in the tomato purée and cook for another two minutes.
Pour the wine into the pan and heat through. Using a wooden spoon, scrape any charred meat and vegetables from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock, bay leaf and return the beef to the pan.
Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 1½ hours in the preheated oven (alternatively cook on the hob over a very low heat for 1½ hours).
Meanwhile, make the cobbler topping. Mix the flours in a bowl. Add the salt, chopped rosemary and 100g/3½oz of the cheese. Slowly add the milk and bring the mixture together. You may not need all of the milk. Try not to overwork the mixture by mixing it too much as this will toughen the end result.
Tip the mixture onto a floured surface and bring together to form a soft dough. Form the dough into a rough circle keeping it quite thick, about 2.5cm/1in. Cut out eight scone-sized circles. Brush the tops of the scones with beaten egg and sprinkle over the remaining cheese.
Remove the stew from the oven and place the scones on top of the stew. Increase the oven temperature to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Return the stew to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes until the scones are golden-brown. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

Ohfourfoxache Thu 30-Oct-14 01:51:03

Just a slight variation - have you considered doing a pot roast? You can use a cut like brisket with Cog and Penelope's recipes which I will happily pinch - it falls apart when it's cooked.....

If you want to be really, really naughty, you could add dumplings and serve it ALL inside giant, individual Yorkshire puddings..... my scales request "one at a time please" whenever I try to weigh myself

Ohfourfoxache Thu 30-Oct-14 01:52:29

X post with Dark

Wholemeal cheese scone topping? <faints>

darksideofthemooncup Thu 30-Oct-14 01:56:14

I want this now. <carbcoma>

LoveBeingGetAGrip Thu 30-Oct-14 04:48:09

this is amazing and very simple

tethersend Thu 30-Oct-14 11:31:32

Oooh, thanks all smile

So... Where do we stand with coating the meat in flour and browning it first? I was looking forward to that bit, but Love's recipe says it's not necessary confused

agoodbook Thu 30-Oct-14 13:04:59

I always brown my meat first to be honest.
In our house dumplings are with stew in a pan, but a lid of suet pastry is by miles our favourite done in the oven , on top of the stew smile

tethersend Thu 30-Oct-14 13:38:04

Oooh, have you got a recipe, agoodbook?

agoodbook Thu 30-Oct-14 15:05:28

Being very old smile I don't have a recipe as such for my beef stew- it sort of evolve depending on what I have in, but I do use shin of beef- its the best as long as you have plenty of time - I like to do it the day before and let it go cold- the flavour is better next day. So I often start mine off in the pressure cooker to get it really going, and then transfer to a casserole dish. When I think it's about 30-40 minutes before I want to eat I up the oven temp to 200 ( or 180 fan ) - I then mix up my pastry. Very simple just slightly firmer than a dumpling dough. - 2 parts flour to 1 part suet, ( for a wide casserole i I would say 8oz flour and 4 oz suet) and a half teaspoon of fine salt. I then mix in cold water with a fork until it keeps together well- almost sloppy, but not quite. I don't roll it out as its very soft but I slap it onto a well floured worktop , and press it with my fingers to about the right size of my casserole- its not critical! I manhandle it onto top of stew, and push a hole in the middle to let the steam out. Back in the oven and then let it cook.- depending on how thick you have the pastry, it can take up to 45 minutes. But it does want to have gravy oozing round the sides, up the middle, but with a nice crusty golden top. Hope that makes sense ?

agoodbook Thu 30-Oct-14 15:09:38

After my first post- been to my butchers and beef stew is in the pressure cooker...DH started to drool when I was talking about it, so thats tomorrows tea sorted grin and some for the freezer

GoatsDoRoam Thu 30-Oct-14 15:09:55

Same as Cogito, but with a bottle of good red wine instead of Guinness, and I also flambé a cup of Cognac in the jumble of beef and veggies before adding the wine.

I've just made my second batch of it this Fall cause it is so hearty and yummy.

I am inspired to try it with beer next time, though.

agoodbook Thu 30-Oct-14 15:11:59

Forgot to say-you need quite a lot of gravy as suet pastry sucks it up!

tethersend Thu 30-Oct-14 18:32:53

Cor, that sounds lovely even though I don't like beef grin

So, do I get shin of beef or stewing steak? Is it just a preference or is one better than the other? Do I ask at the butchers for it to be cut up? Am totally clueless.

tethersend Thu 30-Oct-14 18:34:08

Do I serve it with anything at all?

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