Autumn/Winter Warmer. Beef hotpot stew.
Autumn is without a doubt my favorite season, It's been that way since I was a child I love the smell of the air as the warm summer evenings turn a little cooler and the sun draws in to its self a little earlier week on week, we start to see puffs of smoke from chimneys as fires are lit once again to warm us with flames the color of the leaves on the trees outside, the nights get longer and the need for cozy-ness once again creeps into our homes.
With this my need for nourishment and certain food types changes we've been living on green crisp salads,cool summer drinks,delicious summer fruits, in abundance, BBQ and easy quick hassle free meals, I found this summer harder than any other to really get into doing a decent shift in the 'hot' small kitchen we have at home, but now Autumn is finally here I can start to get properly back into cooking and having the oven on all day without our house feeling like a furnace.
One of the first dishes we usually make at the start of Autumn is a stew, I started this year with a hearty beef stew with carrots,mushrooms and topped with sliced potato.Just perfect for a cooler Autumnal evening and an easy way to break back into spending more time in the kitchen, it's super simple and the stove does most of the work for you.
Rundown and a few snaps.
1 KG of Diced chuck steak (stewing steak) cut into 2" chunks.
6 Medium sized carrots, peeled and roughly cut.
250 Grams of button mushrooms. (larger ones cut in half)
2 Large white onions, roughly diced.
350 ML of good beef stock. (stock cubes are fine if you have none)
1 KG of waxy potatoes. (sliced for topping)
Salt and pepper to season.
50 Grams of unsalted butter.
2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
1 Tablespoon of plain flour.
In a large heavy based pot add the olive oil and 25 grams of butter over a high heat get the pan very hot and brown the beef,you may have to do this in batches ( I did 4 batches in a 25 cm Le Creuset) let the beef stick and then use a wooden spoon to stir making sure it's browned all over. Remove the meat when it's all been browned to a bowl.
Add the carrots and onions to the same pot and cook for five minutes to soften and brown, then add the tablespoon of plain flour, cook for a minute stirring continuously then add the beef back to the pot, then add the beef stock cover the pot and cook for 90 minutes,check the pot every 15 minutes or so and give a quick stir, if it needs some more stock then add a little bit of boiled water, then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 30 minutes uncovered, it will reduce and thicken up a bit around this point, check that the meat is tender if not give it another 15 minutes cooking time.
Once tender you can either transfer the mixture to individual servings ( like we did here) or leave in the pot and layer the sliced waxy potatoes over the top and then top with little nuggets of the left over butter and bake in a preheated oven at gas mark 6 for 45 minutes.