Parker's Beef Stew

  • Preparation Time15 mins
  • Cooking Time140 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyEasy
1 kg good quality chuck beef, cut into 4cm cubes
1 (750ml bottle) good red wine
2 whole garlic cloves, crushed
3 bay leaves
280g plain flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Good olive oil
2 yellow onions, cut into 2cm cubes
450g carrots, peeled and cut diagonally in 4cm chunks
250g white mushrooms, stems discarded and cut in half
450g small potatoes, halved or quartered
1 tbsp minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 (450g) tin chicken stock or broth
1 large branch fresh rosemary
70g chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 (300g) package frozen peas
1) Place the beef in a bowl with the red wine, crushed garlic and bay leaves. Place in the refrigerator and marinate overnight.

2) The next day, combine the flour, 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp pepper. Lift the beef out of the marinade with a slotted spoon and discard the bay leaves and garlic, saving the marinade. In batches, dredge the cubes of beef in the flour mixture and then shake off the excess.

3) Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas mark 2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan and brown half the beef over a medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, turning to brown evenly.

4) Place the browned beef in a large oven-proof cast iron casserole with a tight fitting lid. Continue to brown the remaining beef, adding oil as necessary if the beef is very lean.

5) When all the beef is browned, heat another 2 tbsp of oil in the large pan and add the onions, carrots, mushrooms and potatoes. Cook for 10 minutes over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Place all the vegetables in the casserole on top of the beef.

6) Add 600ml of the reserved marinade to the empty pan and cook over a high heat to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Add the chicken stock, rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp salt and 1 tbsp of pepper.

7) Pour the sauce over the meat and vegetables in the casserole and bring to a simmer over a medium heat on top of the stove. Cover the casserole and place it in the oven to bake for about 2 hours, until the meat and vegetables are all tender, stirring once during cooking. If the stew is boiling rather than simmering, lower the heat to 140C/Gas mark 1.

8) A short time before serving, stir in the frozen peas. Season to taste and serve hot.

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