This is our most cooked stew all year round. It is based on a Jamie Oliver recipe but like most recipes it has been slightly adapted over time to suit our tastes. The beauty of this recipe is that it doesn’t require you to brown off the meat first. Just saute the slices of onion and sage leaves then tip everything else in the pot and forget about it for 4 hours. And once those sage leaves hit the butter and olive oil – the fragrance is sublime!
The perfect meal for families that have those little children that get very needy and demanding in the late afternoon through till dinner time. My youngest is almost 2 and he is, all of a sudden, one of those little children. I put the stew together when he is having his afternoon nap and then I don’t need to step foot into the kitchen until dinner time.
My vegetable choices are rather simple. Potato, pumpkin and carrot. All the kids are happy with these three star veges so I don’t dare mess with the formula. It works for me but I’m sure you can add whatever else takes your fancy.
Now this stew is nothing without the gremolata. The garlic, lemon zest and rosemary. I’m sure it will ward off colds and flu.
Rip up a baguette to have on the side and it is a complete meal.
beef and vegetable stew with gremolata
a knob of butter
1 onion, peeled and sliced
a handful of fresh sage leaves
1 kg chuck steak, any stewing steak, cut into 4 cm chunks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons plain flour
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into thick disks
1/2 a pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into rough chunks
700g small potatoes
100ml tomato puree
1/2 bottle of red wine
750ml beef stock
zest of 1 lemon, finely grated
a handful of fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Put a little olive oil and the butter in a heavy-based pot. Add the sliced onion and sage leaves and fry for a few minutes. Toss the meat in the flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Add to the pot along with the vegetables, tomato puree, stock and wine. Bring up to a boil then pop into the oven for 3 to 4 hours. Top up with extra stock or water if the stew is getting too dry for your liking.
For the gremolata, just mix all the ingredients together. Ladle the stew into big bowls and sprinkle with gremolata just before serving.