You know those meals that remind you of your Grandmother’s kitchen and those nostalgic childhood days when you didn’t have to worry about anything but laughing, eating and sleeping? Oh, childhood….Today, we’re tapping that nostalgic side of the heart and soul with this old-fashioned, nourishing recipe that will remind you of the warming, delicious slow braises that your Nanna once made.
Start with less tender beef cuts, such as chuck steak. braising beef, brisket. beef shin or oxtail, as this cooking method softens the tough muscle fibres and connective tissue, ensuring the most moist, flavoursome dish. The secret to a delicious stew or casserole is to start with pasture-raised meat, organic vegetables and bone broth, and then to take your time to cook it – a low heat setting over a long period of time. So very easy to make, you can prepare this meal in 10 minutes and just pop it into a low oven or slow cooker overnight and forget about it.
Beef Stew With Winter Vegetables
- 250 g Bacon , pastured, sliced
- 1 large Onion , diced
- 1 kg Beef , grass-fed, diced
- 3 cloves Garlic , finely chopped
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 1 tsp Nutmeg , freshly grated
- 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 tsp Chili Flakes , or less, if desired
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- Sea Salt , unrefined
- Black Pepper , freshly ground
- 2 tbsp Rosemary , fresh, finely chopped
- 6 sprigs Thyme , fresh
- 1 L Beef or Chicken Broth , or stock
- 1 cup Red Wine
- 2 stalks Celery , sliced at an angle into 3cm slices
- 1 large Parsnip , peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
- 3 medium Carrots , unpeeled and cut at an angle into 3cm slices
- 6 medium Mushrooms , cut into thick slices
- 1 medium Sweet Potato , peeled and cut into 3cm pieces
- 1/2 cup Parsley , finely chopped, for serving
- 8 tbsp Butter , or herb butter*, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 220C.
- Place into a large pot all of the ingredients apart from the parsley and butter or herb butter. Stir well.
- Place the stew into the oven, turn the heat down and cook at 80C for 24 hours, at 100C for 12 hours, or at 120C for 8 hours.
- Take the dish out of the oven, taste for salt and pepper, remove thyme stalks, sprinkle with parsley, and top each serving with a tbsp of butter or herb butter*.
- *To make a simple herb butter mix together 1/2 cup of softened salted butter with 4 tbsp of your favourite finely chopped fresh herbs (we used parsley, thyme and rosemary). Store any leftover herb butter in the fridge or freezer and use to liven up vegetables, fish, chicken, eggs, lamb or beef.
- Serve with a fresh green salad or steamed green veggies, drizzled with a little olive oil and salt.
- This recipe would also be very good with lamb. Use lamb shanks. diced lamb or buy a boneless grass-fed lamb shoulder and cut it into 4cm pieces.
- Pearl barley or buckwheat would be lovely in this stew. Mix in 1/2 cup when adding the both or stock.
- Optional additions: fennel, leeks, pumpkin, black olives, juniper berries, star anise, fresh sage, dried porcini mushrooms or orange peel. Try one or more variation to your taste.
- You could cook this recipe in a slow cooker on a low setting.
- To make a delicious pie with the leftovers fill a casserole dish with the stew, top with buttery mashed sweet potato or cauliflower, and bake until hot and golden.