Things I have been cooking lately #12: Easy Beef Stew

All this very cold weather has made me want is comfort food, so I decided to attempt a stew. I’ve never made a stew before. I don’t normally have the patience, but I’m glad to say that I managed this very easy stew below and it was quite delicious. My advice, if you’re going to do this is to start about 3 ½ hours before you actually want to eat it.

Easy Beef Stew

Adapted from BBC Good Food

Olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely diced

2 sticks of celery, sliced

450g braising steak, cut into chunks.

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 large cloves of garlic, crushed

1 beef stock cube

500ml boiling water

2 teaspoons of dried parsley (or a handful of fresh leaves)

1kg of sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

Knob of butter

Couple of handfuls of grated cheddar cheese

Heat a little olive oil in a large, thick based pot with a lid. Add the onions and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the carrots and celery and cook for about 5 minutes, until the veg has started to soften.

Add the braising steak to the pot and fry off until browned. Add the garlic and cinnamon and cook for a couple of minutes. In the meantime melt the stock cube in the boiling water. Add the stock and parsley and bring to the boil.

Put the lid on the pot and turn it down really slow so that it is just bubbling. Simmer for an hour.

Remove the lid and simmer for an hour and a half with the lid off, stirring occasionally. It should be bubbling constantly, so you might have to turn up the temperature ever so slightly when you take off the lid.

In the meantime, boil the sweet potatoes in salted water for about 15 minutes, until you can easily push a fork through one of the chunks. Then mash it up with the butter, to make a thick stiff mash.

By this point the meat should be very tender. Pour the beef mixture into a baking dish and then spread the mash mixture over the top. Sprinkle with the cheese and at 180 C for about 20 minutes.

Delicious! Serves 4.

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