Simple Beef Stew

This is the classic method for making a good stew like my mother-in-law used to make. It took me years to perfect. The main watch points are:
• Choose the correct cut of meat, chuck is ideal.
• Brown only half the meat for flavour, the other half is left un-browned to promote tenderness and to absorb the fried onion flavour.
• Cook in the oven covered with a well fitting lid at a very low temperature for 2 ½ – 3 hours.

YOU WILL NEED

  • 800 g - 1 kg beef chuck, brisket or short rib cut into large cubes
  • 3 T (45 ml) flour
  • 1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman’s Beef Flavour Stock Powder
  • 1 t (5 ml) Ina Paarman’s Garlic Pepper Seasoning
  • 1 T (15 ml) butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • Ina Paarman’s Green Onion Seasoning
  • 3 T (45 ml) Ina Paarman’s Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
  • 2 cups (500 ml) boiling water
  • 2 - 3 bay leaves
  • olive oil
  • 500 g baby onions, peeled
  • 3 T (45 ml) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 t (10 ml) sugar
  • 2 - 3 potatoes, cut into small 1 cm x 1 cm cubes

Gremolata

  • ½ cup (125 ml) parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 T (15 ml) zested lemon rind
Method

Measure the flour, Beef Flavour Stock Powder and Garlic Pepper Seasoning into a plastic bag. Shake to mix. Add cubed beef and shake again to coat the meat really well.

Add the butter and 2 T oil to a heavy based saucepan and brown only half of the meat. The other half is not browned.

Spoon the browned meat onto a plate, add a little more oil to the pot and brown the onions, pre-seasoned with ½ t (2,5 ml) Green Onion Seasoning. Add the un-browned meat and any leftover flour to the onions and stir it through.

Add Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and the reserved browned meat and any juices that might have leaked out. Add boiling water and bay leaves. Bring to a very gentle boil. Cover with a tight fitting lid.

Adjust oven rack to one slot below the middle and preheat the oven to 150°C. Place the saucepan in the oven and cook for 2 ½ hours until meat is very tender or cook in a slow cooker on low for ± 6 – 7 hours.

In a separate pan, brown the onions in a little olive oil, deglaze with balsamic vinegar and add sugar and Green Onion Seasoning to taste.

Remove the stew from the oven after 2 ½ hours and stir through the cubed potatoes and baby onions and all the balsamic glaze. Cover and cook for a final 45 minutes. Remove bay leaves.

Gremolata

Mix all ingredients together and sprinkle over the stew just before serving.

Variations
Curry

To the pre-cooked basic stew add: ½ bunch of finely sliced spinach, 1 x 200 ml Ina Paarman’s Tikka Curry Coat & Cook Sauce and ½ cup (125 ml) coconut milk or cream. Cook for 5 minutes until spinach is wilted. Add 2 T (30 ml) of our Coriander Pesto. Taste for seasoning.

Peri-peri

Add 1 x 200 ml Ina Paarman’s Peri-Peri Coat & Cook Sauce to the pre-cooked basic stew. Add a few spoonfuls of plain yoghurt or fresh cream if too hot. Top with Gremolata.

Mushroom

Sauté 1 punnet of sliced mushrooms in 2 T of butter and season lightly with Ina Paarman’s Garlic Pepper Seasoning. Add to the pre-cooked basic stew. To serve, top the dish with a handful of rocket leaves.

Ina's Tip

The saucepan you use makes a difference. A good cast iron casserole one with a tight fitting lid is ideal.

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