This recipe calls for stewing beef - any type
will do or use a mixture if you've small packs left in freezer as slow
cooking will cook it all beautifully. This recipe does not require you
to brown the meat so although chopping the vegetables takes time once
the casserole is in the oven you can walk away and leave it.
Knob of butter
1 onion, peeled and chopped
A handful of fresh sage leaves
800g stewing steak cut into 2" pieces
Salt and pepper
Flour, to dust
½ butternut squash, deseeded and chopped
500g small potatoes (or large ones cut up)
2 tablespoons tomato purée
½ bottle red wine
285ml beef or vegetable stock
At end of cooking
Zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
Handful of rosemary leaves
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 160º c/gas mark 2 or use
your bottom Aga oven or slow cooker.
Put a little oil and the butter into an appropriately sized pot or casserole
dish. Add onion and sage leaves and fry for 3 or 4 minutes.
Toss meat in seasoned flour, then add to pan with all vegetables, tomato
purée, wine and stock, and gently stir together.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring to boil, place lid on top,
then cook in oven until meat is tender. This takes 3 or 4 hours but I
leave it all day. Test by mashing piece of meat, if it falls apart easily
Once it's cooked turn oven down to 110ºc/gas mark ¼ and hold
it there until ready to eat.
Mix lemon zest, chopped rosemary and garlic together and sprinkle over
stew before eating. Best way to serve is ladling spoonfuls into bowls,
accompanied by glass of red wine and warm bread (oh yes, and some green
vegetables if you want to be healthy).