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Beef Stew

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Preparation time 25 minutes
Cooking time 3 hours
Serves 4

Perfect for winter mid-week meals, this simple beef stew makes a delicious dish for toddlers and teenagers alike. Hearty and packed with vitamin C, this healthy stew is not only loaded with flavours but all the nutrients you need to make it through the week.

Ingredients

600g Beef (Brisket, chuck or any other stewing steak)
130g Shallot (4)
120g Carrots (2)
130g Celery (2 sticks)
1 Clove of garlic
140g Parsnip (1 large)
2 Bay leaves
1 Sprig of thyme
1 Teaspoon of Dijon mustard
250ml Red wine
500ml Beef stock
2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
60g Beurre manié (Soften butter and flour)

Method

Step 1: Pre-heat the oven to 160°c/320F/Gas 3.

Step 2: Chop the meat, shallot, carrot, celery and parsnip into bite sized pieces, ready for frying. After this, finely dice the garlic into slim pieces.

Step 3: Heat one tablespoon of oil in your frying pan, then season the meat with fine sea salt and diced pepper and fry it until it is browned on all sides. Doing this in batches allows enough room between each piece of meat which helps the meat to brown instead of boil. When the meat is browned all over, transfer it to an oven-proof dish with a lid. De-glaze the frying pan with the red wine, then stir the mustard into the red wine and pour it over the meat. Add the thyme and bay leaves, and season again with your finest salt and pepper.

Step 4: Heat the remaining oil in the same frying pan and then add the shallot and carrot. Fry until they begin to turn brown, then add the celery and garlic. Do not add the parsnip at this stage. Fry for a further 2 minutes before transferring it all to the dish with the meat. Put the parsnip into the dish with the meat and other vegetables and mix it all together.

Step 5: Pour half of the stock into the frying pan, bring it to the boil and then add the beurre manié and whisk it in. When the beurre manié has been completely incorporated, pour in the rest of the stock, mix it in, bring it to the boil and cook it for 1 minute before pouring it into the dish with the meat and vegetables.

Step 6: Put the lid on the dish and place it in the oven for 3 hours, checking it every half an hour to make sure there is enough liquid (if it appears to be getting too low, just add some hot water).

Step 7: After 3 hours, remove it from the oven and serve.

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Chef's Tips

This stew recipe is very versatile and the ingredients list can be widely varied to suit your needs or tastes. For example, you could add mushrooms or chopped bacon to add more texture and piquant to your meal. The important part is the method.
When making a stew, it is good practice to use a suitably sized pot to cook it in. Ideally, the mixture would come three quarters of the way up the pot. Otherwise, if the pot is too big, it can boil dry and burn because the stew would have too large a surface area compared to its depth.