A stew is a dish which has been cooked on the the oven hob rather than
in the oven (which would be a casserole). It is the best method for
tenderising tough cuts of meat.
COOK'S NOTES ON BEEF STEW The first step in this recipe is to marinate the beef in some olive
oil, Worcester Sauce and salt. This is an essential step if you
want your beef to stew to perfect tenderness.
The art of marinating something like beef is not often understood. In the
case of this beef stew recipe, the marinade will tenderise the
stewing steak in a way you would never believe possible. Combine that
with a long cooking time and your beef stew will be the envy of your
As far as the vegetables are concerned, the onions and potatoes are
essential for beef stew but the carrots can be replaced with any
seasonal root vegetable of your choice. Parsnips or turnips are ideal.
Beef stew freezes extremely well, many believe that freezing helps the
meat take on the flavour of the other ingredients.
For the beef stock, use homemade beef stock if
you have any although that's unlikely. If you don't have any, simply use
hot water with a couple of beef stock cubes dissolved in it.
One final word of advice is that beef stew goes perfectly with dumplings.
Now that may seem a bit complicated but they really are very simple
and almost foolproof. Just start them half an hour or so before you want
to serve up the beef stew. Click here for our
Worcestershire Sauce (Lea and
Perrins) for marinade
Salt for marinade
Salt and pepper
WHAT SPECIAL KITCHEN EQUIPMENT? A large pan and a frying pan (skillet).
CLICK ANY PICTURE ON
THIS PAGE TO ENLARGE IT
PREPARATION FOR BEEF STEW Chop the stewing steak into 3cm (1in) cubes.
Peel then roughly chop the potatoes into 3cm (1in) cubes.
Peel, top and tail then finely chop the onions and the garlic.
Roughly chop the carrots (see picture below).
Place the beef cubes in a bowl, add two tablespoons of olive oil and the Lea and
Perrins Sauce. Evenly sprinkle the level teaspoon of salt over the beef.
the contents of the bowl together well with a fork. Cover with cling film and
place in the fridge to marinate for 15 minutes whilst you are preparing the
When the beef has marinated for 15 minutes take it out of the fridge and place
it in a colander. Rinse the marinade off all the beef cubes by running water
over it for a minute or so. Turn the beef cubes whilst rinsing to ensure as much
of the marinade is removed as possible.
The main purpose of the marinade is to
tenderise the beef rather than flavour it.
Add two tablespoons of olive oil to a large pan on a medium heat. Add the beef
and stir for three minutes or so until all the beef is browned. This is known as
Add the stock, wine, bay leaves and the tomato concentrate. Stir
the mixture well and turn the heat to low. Leave the beef to stew like that for
2 hours stirring every half an hour or so.
Halfway through that 2 hour stewing time add the carrots to
the beef stew. The carrots are added earlier than the other vegetables
because they take much longer to cook.
About 15 minutes before the beef has finished stewing, add the butter to a
frying pan / skillet on a medium heat. Add the onions and let them fry for five
minutes turning them frequently.
Add the potatoes and fry the potatoes and onions for another five minutes. Turn
frequently to ensure the ingredients are evenly cooked.
When the potatoes and onions have fried, add them to the beef stew. Then add the
chopped garlic, thyme, sugar and a good sprinkling of pepper.
Test the beef
stew for salt seasoning. Depending on how well you rinsed the beef marinade
earlier, you may need to add a touch more salt.
Leave the beef stew to cook for a further 1¼ hours on a low heat.
soup bowls and garnish with parsley if you have any.
Beef stew freezes particularly well, simply warm it up from frozen.