Recipe Shed - One pot wonders

Recipe Shed
I love one pot wonders. Less hassle, normally easy to prepare and importantly, less washing up!

I've decided to go with an old classic which must be one of the original one pot wonders, a beef stew. This is the way my mum taught me to cook it. May not be the right way, but it tastes good in our house and brings back memories!

Beef Stew
Serves 4 - 6 (depending on dumpling, bowl and appetite size)

Ingredients (all approximate)

500g of beef stewing steak, cut into cubes (amount of meat depends on my purse strings)
couple of onions, roughly chopped
couple of carrots, thickly sliced
2 or 3 parsnips, cut into chunks
small parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
3 or 4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into big chunks
3 oxo cubes
couple of bay leaves
salt and pepper

In a big pan (I use the pressure cooker pan** as its the biggest one I own) I put a couple tablespoons of water with the cubed beef steak and brown. I then add the onions to soak up the flavour from the beef and to soften slightly.

The rest of the vegetables and bay leaves get added with the oxo cubes and enough water to cover completely. Lid is added to the pot and its brought to the boil and then simmered for at least 4 hours. The longer you can leave it the better. If you can cook it the day before, or give it chance to cool then reheat, you're onto a winner!

Remember to check on it regularly to stir and top up with water.

To help thicken I'll sometimes chop a potato very finely so it disintegrates and thickens in the stew as it cooks. Season to taste as you go and sorted!

We usually serve this with dumplings, which are very easy too.

4 big spoons of self raising flour (I have a special, to me, spoon I inherited from my Gran)
2 same sized spoons of suet
salt and pepper
(sometimes I add a handful of herbs or chopped garlic)

Mix until firm but still sticky with a little water and drop tablespoon sized 'pieces' into the stew, spaced regularly in the pan as they will expand (a lot) Put the lid back on and continue to cook for another 20 - 25 minutes.

Serve in a big bowl, with a crust of bread to wipe it clean!

** Maybe a thought for future recipe shed could be pressure cooking recipe, is it a dieing art?

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