Today’s recipe is a lighter version of the usual beef stew. It happened on a day I’d bought quite a lot of shoulder of beef to make some Moroccan Preserved Beef called Khlea, (recipe coming soon). At the last minute, I decided to make half the amount I’d been planning and so had about 450 g (1 lb) of meat to be used up.
As chuck steak needs a longer cooking time, stir fries were out of the question and given that the temperatures had just dropped those last couple of days, a stew seemed like the obvious way to go.
So for the most part, the ingredients are that of your usual stew, the aromatics and the carrots, celery and leek. I’m not a fan of swede and parsnip in stews as they just overpower everything else, so I left those out. I decided to add some ginger to the mix, and as I was putting away the vegetables, noticed the huge amount of cider I had left to be used up! So, half a cup of dry cider got added as well, as I wasn’t planning on using any wine. You could just do away with the cider for an equally delicious alcohol free version. Then as the stew was cooking away, I remembered the Cumberland Sauce I’d just made, and well, why not, I thought.
The result? A light, very flavoursome beef stew with a touch of sweet from the ginger and the Cumberland Sauce. Perfect with bread, but just as good with mash, rice or just with some cooked pasta thrown in just before serving.
Any stewing type beef will work here. If you have some bones, add that too, for added depth.
If you fancy making your own, here’s my recipe. Otherwise, either a good quality, shop bought one or a good stockpot dissolved in water, following the instructions on the packet. Make it up to the amount we need for the recipe.
Is a very British sauce and is so easily made at home, in just 20 minutes, provided you have some redcurrant jelly handy, homemade or shop bought. You could substitute this with any mild, tangy chutney or savoury type jelly. You’ll find my recipe for Cumberland Sauce here.
What’s your favourite cold weather stew?
The following are just some of mine:
- 450 g (1 lb) stewing beef, diced in 5 cm (2") cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, quartered
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 5 cm (2") ginger, julienned
- 2 large carrots, sliced in thick rounds
- 1 large leek, sliced in thick rounds, white and green part
- 3 celery sticks, sliced thickly
- half tsp black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 125 ml (half cup) dry cider (optional)
- 1 litre (4 cups) beef stock
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp Cumberland Sauce
- freshly ground black pepper
- A small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan on high heat and brown the beef all over for about 3 minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic, ginger, carrots, leek, celery, peppercorns and bay leaf and stir well for about a minute, to coat the vegetables and aromatics in the beef fat.
- Add the flour and mustard and stir it in well, about 30 seconds.
- Add the cider and once again, stir to mix it all in. Let the cider come to boil and cook on high heat for a minute.
- Add the beef stock and bring to boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 1 and a half hours or so, until the meat is cooked and tender.
- Stir in the Cumberland Sauce and check seasoning, add some salt, if needed.
- Finish off with a flourish of freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately, garnished with the parsley.