Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Full of flavour beef stew for a cold winters day

This stew is packed with good things, and finished with cinnamon and chocolate. It's a one pot dinner with the potatoes added just before the end. The stew feeds 5 to 6, if you want to feed a big gang, double up on the ingredients. It is best made the day before you intend to eat it, as the flavours will develop and become more pronounced over night. When you reheat it, do so very gently as you don't wasn't the potatoes to break up as you re heat it.
  • 1 kg of  stewing beef
  • 2-3  tablespoons of flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 125g smoked bacon diced
  • 250ml of dry sherry
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • A handful of herbs, parsley, thyme, rosemary, oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500mls beef stock
  • 500g Potatoes, peeled and cut in half or quarters
  • 25g Dark chocolate
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Olive oil for frying
Preheat the oven to 150C
  1. Start off heating some oil in a heavy based saucepan, while the oil is heating  toss the beef pieces in some seasoned flour, shake off excess flour.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the bacon and cook until the fat runs and the bacon is golden, scoop out of the pot and set aside. 
  3. Next fry off the beef pieces in the oil, do this in batches so that it will brown rather than sweat. Once browned, scoop out of the pot and add to the pancetta. 
  4. When all the beef is browned add the sherry to the pan, bring to the boil and allow to bubble for a minute or two - then add the onions, garlic, bacon and beef and herbs to the pot, cover with stock. Bring to simmering point , put on the lid and transfer to the oven, allow to stew for 2 hours.
  5. After two hours, add the potatoes, cinnamon and chocolate. Add more stock if needed and return to the oven for a further 40 minutes until the potatoes are tender. 
  6. To serve, remove the cinnamon stick and herbs and serve in bowls.