Beef & bean stew

winter screams soups and stews. there is nothing like the lingering smell of a thick, meaty stew that’s been doing its magic on the stove top for a couple of hours.
i always buy ‘stewing beef’ and prefer if it has a little fat to add to the flavour of the dish.
there are no real quantity rules with stews. it really depends on how you feel and what you like more or less of so add or omit as you see fit. (within reason, of course.).
i love rice but any other starch will do as long as there is something to sip up all those incredible, tasty juices.

ingredients | serves 4
1/3c olive oil
1/2c plain flour
1kg stewing beef, bone in, cut into blocks
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 large carrot, grated
2tbs tomato paste
1/2c red wine
1/3c sherry (optional)
2tbs balsamic vinegar
600ml beef stock
2tsp dried thyme
3 stalks rosemary, chopped
3 bay leaves
3tbs Worcestershire sauce
handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
3tbs brown sugar
300g baby carrots
1 can cannellini beans
1tsp salt
black pepper
2tbs corn flour (if desired)

dredge the beef cubes and the beef bones in the flour. heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot and brown the beef on all sides. do this in four batches, using two tablespoons of oil each time. set aside.
in the same pot, heat the remaining olive oil and sauté the onion & garlic until soft. add the tomato paste and cook for a minute, stirring. deglaze with the wine, sherry & balsamic vinegar, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any bits from the bottom. simmer on medium heat until reduced by half. add the grated carrot, celery & sugar and cook for about 2 minutes. tip the meat into the pot and stir to coat.
add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, salt & pepper together with the beef stock and Worcestershire sauce and stir. bring the mixture to a boil for 2 minutes. turn the heat down to a low simmer, cover and cook for one and a half hour, stirring occasionally, until beef is fork tender.
add the baby carrots to the pot, cover and cook for a further 20 minutes. add the cannellini beans and cook, uncovered for 10 minutes more, until thickened. should you want a thicker consistency, combine two teaspoons corn flour with two teaspoons water and mix into the stew.
stir the chopped parsley into the stew and serve with rice or mashed potato.

form my kitchen to yours, with love x

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