Hearty Beef Stew with Rich Vegetable Gravy | Beef Recipes | Cooking with Beef | Winter Recipes

Hearty Beef Stew with Rich Vegetable Gravy

This is a real winter-warmer! Comforting and rich, wholesome and utterly delicious.  And the great thing is, you prepare it in the morning, then forget all about it until it’s time to eat…and in the meantime your home smells good enough to eat all day!

I particularly like cooking this stew when I know I’m going to be busy or out & about all day, so it’s perfect for those winter Sundays when we go for a long bracing walk in the fresh air in the morning, knowing that the stew is already simmering away in the slow-cooker and we’ll come home to the delicious smell and no cooking to do.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 7-8 hrs in a slow-cooker
Serves: 6

Shown here served with fresh steamed broccoli
Ingredients
  • 850g beef shin
  • 120g of mushrooms (use chestnut or, even better, shitake mushrooms for more depth of flavour)…you can also substitute these with a handful of dried porcini mushrooms for extra richness; pre-soak the porcini in lukewarm water for 5 mins or so prior to adding to the stew (no need to give them their full 20 minute soaking as they’ll get plenty of time to soften in the stew, but the initial quick soaking will allow any soil to wash away and settle at the bottom of your soaking bowl)
  • 300g potatoes (you can use more potatoes if you prefer a more carb-based meal…I personally prefer to eat plenty of meat and fewer potatoes in my daily calorie intake)
  • 1 onion
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 500g fresh carrots
  • 1 leek
  • 2tsp olive oil (no need to use extra virgin as that’s best reserved for raw use in salads etc…it’s a waste to use it in cooking, in my opinion)
  • 6tbsp plain flour
  • 1.2l beef stock made to about 1.5-2x concentration advised on stock cubes packet.  Personally, my preference is for Knorr Rich Beef Stockpots…you usually use 1 stockpot per 500ml of water, but in this recipe, I use 4 stockpots in 1.2l of water)
  • salt to taste
Method
  • Chop the meat into rough bite-size chunks
  • If using chestnut or shitake mushrooms, roughly chop or slice these, according to personal preference
  • Peel the potatoes and chop them into bite-size chunks
  • Roughly chop the onion
  • Wash, top & tail the celery sticks, then chop each stick into just 2-3 large chunks (you will need to easily identify these in your stew later)
  • Scrape the carrots clean (if required), top & tail them, then chop them into 3-4cm logs
  • Top & tail the leek, peel off the outer layer & wash carefully, then slice in half lengthways; cut each half into thin slices (about 3-5mm thick)

Place the flour in a large bowl (the trick here is to have an over-sized bowl to allow for good mixing with the meat, so that you can coat the meat thinly and only use a little bit of flour), season with a little bit of salt.

Add the chopped meat and mix well by hand, ensuring each piece of meat is lightly coated with flour

Heat 1 tsp oil in a hot non-stick frying pan, add half the floured meat, taking care to shake off excess flour before you put it in the pan; brown all sides on a high heat

Repeat with 2nd half of the meat with additional 1 tsp olive oil

Place the browned meat & all the vegetables into the slow-cooker

Make up the stock as described in the ingredients list, then add to the ingredients in the slow-cooker and mix well

Cover, turn the slow-cooker onto ‘Auto’ setting and leave for 7-8 hours, stirring once or twice during cooking

When cooked, take out some of the gravy, a few carrot & potato bits, some onion bits and all the celery, put in a blender and blitz until smooth (take care when blending hot liquids…leave the centre cover off the lid to allow steam to escape and cover it with a folded tea-towel when you turn the blender on), then return to the pot…this thickens the gravy to a perfect consistency without need for additional thickeners/flour. 

Serve on its own as a stew/thick soup or with additional vegetables (e.g. steamed broccoli), bread or mashed potatoes…

Gloriously Good!

For more recipes, tips & general foodie stuff, go to www.gloriouslygoodfood.com

Low-fat recipes | chicken recipes | chicken soup | chicken chowder | Low-cal soup | low-fat soup

Chicken, Vegetable & Potato Chowder with tomatoes

I know I use a lot of poultry and I do have recipes that don’t involve chicken, turkey or generally low-fat ingredients, but everybody’s more health conscious, I find I can’t lose weight unless I innovate with my food, and the end result is lots o low-fat poultry-based recipes!

Anyway, this is another recent family favourite…I came up with this one a few months ago and hadn’t done it for a while, so it was great to see that everyone was really excited that I’d made it again tonight (well, when I say everyone…Hannah, who is getting more and more fussy at the grand old age of 12, tolerated it, but still had 2 bowlfuls! lol)

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20-30 mins
Serves: 8 good portions (under 200kcals per portion!) or 
6 very generous portions

Ingredients

  • 400g white potatoes
  • 300-350g chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 drained tin sweetcorn (285g drained)
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 250g broccoli
  • 1 tin/carton chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 200-250g carrots
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 1l chicken stock (fresh or made from stock cubes…my personal preference is for Knorr Stockpots, but any good commercial stock will work)
  • 5g butter (I prefer to use real butter rather than low-fat alternatives, but I use it in very small quantities)
  • Salt (rock or sea) & ground chilli flakes, to taste

Method

  • Peel & chop the potatoes into approx 1.5cm chunks
  • Chop the ckicken into small chunks
  • Roughly chop the onion so the pieces are roughly on a par with the potatoes
  • Finely chop the garlic
  • Finely chop the carrots
  • Roughly chop the broccoli
  • Make up the chicken stock according to instructions (I will post my own authentic chicken stock recipe soon, I promise!)

In a big stockpot or casserole dish, melt the butter, then add the chopped onion & garlic.  Fry, stirring continuously, on a high heat for a minute or two.  Once they start browning & softening, add the chicken.

Season the chicken with a little salt and some ground chilli flakes (I go easy on the chilli at this stage so everyone can then add some chilli flakes according to their own taste at the table), stir and ensure the chicken is sealed/browned all over.

Turn the heat down to minimum (if you’re using an electric hob, take the pan off the heat as the hob will be too slow to respond) and add the flour.  Stir it in quickly, making sure it’s coated the chicken pieces and absorbed any juices, then gradually add a bit of stock, stir it in until the thick ‘sauce’ is smooth, then add a bit more and stir it in again, repeating this until you can add the entire stock.

Add the chopped tomatoes, potatoes, sweetcorn and carrots to the pot, but not the broccoli.

Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally, then put on a lid, turn the heat down to minimum and leave to simmer for approximately 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  The potatoes should be cooked but not too soft at this point.

Add the broccoli, stir in and replace the lid.  Leave to cook until you’re happy with the broccoli consistency (about 5 minutes max for me as I like my broccoli fairly crunchy).

Serve on its own for a hearty, warming and filling low-calorie meal, or with some fresh crusty buttered bread for an indulgent treat…

Gloriously Good!;)

For more recipes, tips & general foodie stuff, go to www.gloriouslygoodfood.com

Grilled peppers are a beautiful thing aren’t they. Taken yesterday in #Tuscany

Came across this on Twitter today and just HAD to share. Beautiful!

Grilled peppers are a beautiful thing aren't they. Taken yesterday in #Tuscany: Grilled peppers are a beautiful thing aren’t they. Taken yesterday in #Tuscany

For more recipes, tips & general foodie stuff, go to www.gloriouslygoodfood.com