Frosted cars, ice on the pond and Christmas decorations … all sure signs that winter is upon us. In a frosty climate it can be a challenge to simply raid the fridge and make a fulfilling meal.
So instead, make a delicious and hearty winter beef stew. Cost-effective and versatile, it warms both body and soul during the cold winter nights.
Hearty Winter Beef Stew
The recipe makes enough stew for a few meals. It’s so versatile and works with many side dishes, e.g. black bean coconut rice or a simple rice and pea stir fry. It can also be used to make a filling puff pastry pie, to go with cabbage and triple cooked chips.
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Dutch oven or oven-proof casserole dish (with lid)
- Frying pan (optional)
- Kitchen tongs
- 1kg braising steak
- 1 onion
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large parsnip
- 200g pearl barley
- 200g button mushrooms
- 400g tin of cannellini beans
- 500ml red cooking wine
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
This is cooked in a casserole dish or Dutch oven, so is suitable for a standard oven or Big Green Egg.
- Pre-heat the oven or Big Green Egg to 120°C/250°F.
- Dice the onion, carrots and parsnip. Drain the cannellini beans.
- Heat oil in a frying pan (or direct to casserole dish if cast iron), sear braising steak all over. Add salt, pepper, onions and bay leaves and fry for a couple of minutes.
- If you’re cooking in an Egg the meat can be smoked above the open Dutch oven instead of searing to get some smoke flavours in. I use cherry smoking chunks for this.
- If using a frying pan, transfer contents to casserole dish.
- Add cannellini beans, diced carrots, parsnip and mushrooms into casserole dish and stir in. Then add 300ml red wine and then water to the level of the ingredients. Stir the mixture together. Cover and place in the oven or Big Green Egg.
- After 2 hours, remove casserole dish. Add remaining red cooking wine, stir and return to oven/Egg. Cook for another 2-3 hours until beef is tender and can easily be pulled apart.
- Serve with vegetables or other side dishes.
Hints, Tips and Pictures
- To make a pie, buy some pre-made puff pastry sheets and bake in the oven, then place on top of pre-heated stew.
- Turn the braising steak with a pair of kitchen tongs to get full searing.
- The stew can be kept in the fridge and re-heated for further meals.
- Heat some stew up in a small saucepan and place in a pre-heated thermos flask for a hearty lunch at work.