Italian Beef Stew

A delicious winter warmer that is slow cooked to succulent perfection – great for a restful Sunday. Serve with roasted root vegetables, mashed potato, polenta or thick ribbons of pappardelle.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of stewing beef cut into large chunks, seasoned with salt & pepper
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced thickly
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups of beef stock
  • 1 tin of peeled, diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of dried herbs (thyme, sage, oregano/marjoram)
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 50g bacon lardons (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy casserole dish. Fry off the bacon lardons in the oil, remove from oil with a slotted spoon and set aside. Gentry saute the onion and garlic in the oil, add the carrots and cook gently. Remove from casserole dish and set aside. Increase heat in the casserole and when hot, seal the seasoned beef on all sides, add the flour and cook for a few minutes.

Add in the cooked bacon, onion and carrots. Add the tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, stock and bay leaf. Simmer very gently or transfer to a low oven for 3 – 4 hours until the beef is falling apart. Check seasoning.

Serve with polenta, pappardelle or mashed potato – some green leaves and a very good glass of red.

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