A large batch of rich, beef stew is all the more satisfying when it’s on hand in the freezer.
|2 kgs||Stewing steaks, cut into small cubes (Main)|
|½ cup||Flour, to coat the meat|
|4 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|250 g||Bacon lardons, *|
|1||Celery stalk, large, including leafy top, finely chopped|
|2||Onions, medium, finely chopped|
|8||Garlic cloves, finely chopped|
|500 ml||Beer, I used Tuatara London Porter (Main)|
|2 cups||Beef stock, good quality|
|¼ cup||Cider vinegar|
|5 sprigs||Parsley, and 5 sprigs thyme tied together with string|
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- Heat oven to 170C.
- Working in 3 batches, season beef with salt and pepper and toss in flour to coat. Fry each batch in 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp oil in a large casserole pan over a medium-high heat until browned all over. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add bacon and cook until it takes on colour and renders fat. Add last Tbsp of butter and oil and fry onion, garlic and celery until caramelised (20-30 minutes).
- Add half the beer, stirring to scrape up all the browning on the bottom of the pan.
- Return beef to the pan with remaining beer, stock, vinegar, sugar, herb bundle and bay leaves. Bring to the boil then cover and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours until sauce is rich and thick and meat is tender.
- Serve as is with mash (Warren Elwin's buttercup pumpkinmash is good) and vegetables. Freeze remainder in 2-cup portions to make the meals below.
*I use the Beehive Craft series by Peter Gordon or use bacon if unavailable.
**Don’t use a beer that’s too hoppy or your stew will be bitter.