Beef with Spiced Lemon and Caper Sauce

This is an unusual and easy-to-make beef dish which may be served with mashed or boiled potatoes and buttered peas.

2 lb. stewing beef, cut into

1-inch pieces

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 oz. butter

1 garlic clove, crushed

3 large onions, thinly sliced

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon ground cloves

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 pint beef stock or stock made with a beef stock cube

3 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs, made from

1 thick slice black or pumpernickel bread

2 teaspoons capers, drained

2 tablespoons lemon juice grated rind of ½ lemon

Rub the beef pieces with the salt and pepper. In a large, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the beef pieces to the pan, a few at a time, and brown them evenly on all sides. With a slotted spoon, transfer the beef pieces from the pan to a warmed plate.

Add the crushed garlic and onion slices to the pan and cook them for 7 minutes, or until they are soft but not brown. Stir in the bay leaf, cloves and ginger and mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Pour in the beef stock and, stirring continuously, bring the mixture to the boil over high heat.

Return the beef pieces to the pan and cover. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours, or until the meat is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a warmed serving dish and cover it with foil.

Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the breadcrumbs, capers, lemon juice and lemon rind and bring the liquid to a boil over high heat. If there seems to be too much gravy, boil rapidly for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring continuously, to reduce it.

Otherwise, lower the heat and simmer gently, uncovered for 1 minute. Taste and add more seasoning if required.

Pour the sauce over the meat and serve immediately.

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