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Comfort Food Friday: A hearty slow-cooked beef stew is the ideal dish to brighten up any dreich day

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If you are looking for a dish to warm yourself up this weekend, why not try this beef stew recipe.

When I am looking for comfort food, one dish that always gets a resounding “Yum!” in my house is beef stew or casserole.

Slow-cooked beef in a velvety onion gravy with carrots and served with mashed or roast potatoes with any veg you wish; what is there not to like about a stew?

It is indeed one of the quintessential comfort foods – perfectly placed to brighten up any cold and dreich day.

And another fantastic thing about stew is that you can make it the day before and it will taste even better when you eat it or make it in your slow cooker so that it is ready for you coming home from work – if you aren’t currently working from home.

There are many ways to cook a stew, but I like to make mine as per the recipe below.

Beef stew with vegetables

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 400g braising steak or stewing steak cubed
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 1 celery stick chopped
  • ½ a turnip cubed
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 500mls beef stock made with a stock cube

Method

  1. Add the oil to a large pot and fry the beef in batches until it is browned and nicely caramelised. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.
  2. Put the onion, carrot and celery in the pan and sweat for about 4-5 minutes before adding the tomato puree and Worcestershire sauce and cook for a few minutes. Add the flour and cook it until it is worked into the vegetables.
  3. Return the beef to the pan, add the turnip and the beef stock, bringing to the boil before reducing to a simmer.
  4. Place the lid on and simmer for about 2½ hours. If the gravy is a little watery, at end of cooking process simmer for a little longer with the lid off.
  5. Serve the stew with mashed potatoes or roast potatoes and vegetables of your choice. You can also top with puff pastry, brush with egg wash or milk and cook in an 180c oven for about 25 minutes for the perfect steak pie.

If you are using your slow cooker, simply brown your beef and add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and combine before stewing on low for about eight hours, although check your manufacturer’s instructions to be sure.

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