Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Winter Warmers - Beef & Vegetable Casserole

Hey Guys!
Hope your all well ?
Some of you who follow me on twitter may know I love to cook,and when it comes into the colder weather I am always excited to start cooking more comfort food.
Yesterday the Temperature dropped all over the UK which meant only one thing could be eaten for dinner.
For this stew (or casserole which ever you may call it) I pulled up a recipe from good old BBC Good Food,which has amazing recipes on,and is the only place I get inspiration from to be honest.
I did change it a little bit but you can find the original recipe here.
To start you want to take 2 celery sticks and cut those into pretty thick chunks.
Of course use as much as you wish,I did end up using three.

Then take two large carrots and again chop these into pretty big chunks.
The key to a good stew in my eyes is chunky veg!

This is when I started to change it up a little,I decided to add in one onion cut up into chunks as I thought it needed just a bit more veg for my taste.

I also used two garlic bulbs - I crushed one,and chopped another.

Then to the pan add 3 bay leaves,the recipes calls for 5 but to start I didn't want to over whelm the stew so used 3 for the first hour of cooking then added the last two towards the end.
And you will also want to add in some thyme.

Now you have all the veg in the pan (the pan is not on the heat just yet)
Mix in One Table Spoon of Butter & One Table Spoon of vegetable oil,I used Flora cooking oil which is supposed to be healthier - we just prefer the taste to vegetable oil.
Soften the vegetables for ten minutes..
After five minutes I decided to add some potatoes into the mix just to bulk this out a little,as this will last me and Gareth two days once bulked out.
Then take two tablespoons of plain flour and stir into the mixture this will help make the gravy nice and thick,keep stirring until the flour no longer looks dusty (this sounds strange but you will see what I mean in the photos below)
Put two tablespoons of both tomato puree and two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce into the pan and mix this through.
Crumble in Two Beef stock cubes..
Gradually stir in 600ml of Hot water..

Then add in your beef and stir and bring to a gentle simmer.

At this point you can either put this in the oven at 160C/140C fan/gas 3 for Two and A Half Hours then uncover for 30 minutes
I transfer mine over into a slow cooker for a few hours!

After a few hours you have the finished product.
It tastes so yummy and is the perfect warming dinner when the weather gets colder!
You could put dumplings in this (which I will be doing next time) or maybe if your vegetarian remove the beef and add in different vegetables,that's the great thing about stews you can slow cook what ever you like YUM!

I serve mine up in a bowl with some bread but my hubby prefers his served over a jacket potato but its also great over mash!
What is your favourite Winter Warmer?
See you next time with another recipe !
Stay Safe & Speak Soon

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