This weather certainly calls for some proper hearty grub doesn't it? And what better than a scrummy stew to warm us up from the inside out?
That's exactly what I thought earlier today, as we braved the icy roads and headed to the supermarket to stock up on food for the week. So, in the trolly went:
400g stewing beef
2 large carrots
2 large parsnips
Some white potatoes
Half a bottle of red wine (well...a whole bottle, but only half of it was for the stew)
Beef stock cubes (of which I used one, in 300ml of boiling water)
A tin of chopped tomatoes
And when I got home I set about cooking up something tasty for our Sunday night dinner. I half knew what I was doing from the stews we used to eat as kids, but I also half made it up. And this is how it went:
1. Preheat the oven to about160°C
2. Chop up the veg. Try to cut the carrots, potatoes and parsnips to pieces of about the same size.
3. Put a knob of butter and a small amount of olive oil in a large casserole dish (the sort that can go on the hob and in the oven)
4. Fry the onion on a medium heat for a couple of minutes
5. Toss the beef in enough flour (with a touch of salt and pepper) to just about coat it
6. Add the beef and the rest of the veg into the dish
7. Add half a bottle of red wine, 300ml of beef stock and enough chopped tomatoes to bring the liquid up to almost cover the veg
8. Add a sprinkling of rosemary and sage
9. Bring up to heat and then put it in the oven. This is a slow cooking stew, so it'll need to be in the oven for quite a while. Mine was in for about 2 hours and 45 minutes, but it may take a bit more. I got hungry, so pulled it out just before it could be described as 'melt in the mouth'.
I served the stew in warm bowls on its own, but you could serve it with some lovely crusty bread to help mop up the juices.
This was a reeeeaaaally yummy stew and I'm pleased that there's enough left over to eat it a second night in a row (so that's about 4 portions in total, using the quantities I did). The Mr gave it 8/10 - he wanted his veg cut a bit smaller and was grumpy about the lack of bread. I'll go slightly more and give it a 9 - I should have waited another 15 minutes to make that beef really melt!
What's your favourite winter dish?