Beef Stew-I

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An old-fashioned, rich, stew, this dish will improve in flavour if it is kept in the refrigerator for

24 hours and then reheated before serving. A filling main course for a winter dinner, it may be served with rice or thick rounds of crusty, country-style bread.

5 oz. sifted flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 lb. chuck steak, cut into

1-inch cubes

2 oz. beef dripping

4 large onions, sliced boiling water

1 turnip, peeled and cut into cubes

12 medium-sized carrots, scraped and cut into quarters lengthways

4 celery stalks with leaves, cut into

2-inch pieces

12 small onions, peeled

12 very small, new potatoes, scrubbed and left whole

8 fl. oz. red wine

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Put the flour, salt and pepper into a medium-sized bowl. Dip the meat cubes into the flour mixture, thoroughly coating them all over.

Melt the dripping in a large casserole over moderate heat. Add half the sliced onions and fry, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until they are browned. Remove the onions with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Increase the heat, put the meat cubes into the casserole, a few at a time, and brown them quickly on all sides, removing those that are browned before adding more.

When all the beef cubes have been browned, return them and the browned onions to the casserole. Pour in sufficient boiling water to cover the meat and onions by half an inch.

Add the remaining sliced onions, the turnip, half the carrots and the celery, stir, lower the heat, cover the casserole and simmer for 1 hour.

Add the remaining carrots, the small onions and the potatoes, stir, cover and simmer for a further 30 minutes.

Add the wine and stir to mix. Taste the stew and add more salt and pepper if necessary. If there is not enough gravy, add a little water and cook for a few minutes more.

If the gravy is too thin, make a heurre manie by blending

1 tablespoon butter with

2 tablespoons flour. Form the paste into tiny balls and stir these into the stew one at a time, shaking the pan to make each one dissolve.

Add the parsley to the stew, bring to a simmer, remove from the heat and cool before placing in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Reheat by bringing the stew slowly to the boil and serve hot.

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