Thursday, 22 March 2012

Rachel Allen's Irish Beef Stew



The beautiful aromas that filled the house while this was cooking, was mouthwatering, it drew everyone to the kitchen with enquiring looks!
Rachel Allen was one of the first chef cookbooks that I bought to start me off on my culinary journey, I have always found her recipes uncomplicated and most importantly tested. Untested cook books are a bug bear of mine, because in the past I have paid good money for cookbooks, where the recipes don't work or are written incorrectly, so that you are left with unused ingredients!
This is another fine example of Rachel's expertise's in the kitchen and it is well worth the effort. I, as usual took some shortcuts, I bought lardons and ready chopped vegetables and steak, saves time and effort!

Recipe compliments of BBC Food Website

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1½kg/3lb 5oz Stewing beef, cut into cubes
175g/6oz Streaky bacon
3 tbsp Olive oil
12 Baby onions, peeled
18 Button mushrooms, left whole
3 Carrots, cut into quarters or 12 baby carrots, scrubbed and left whole
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp Chopped thyme
2 tbsp Chopped parsley
10 Cloves of garlic, crushed and grated
425ml/15fl oz Red wine
425ml/15fl oz Chicken or beef stock

For the roux
50g/2oz Butter
50g/1¾oz Flour
Champ, to serve


Method
Brown the beef and bacon in the olive oil in a hot casserole or heavy saucepan.


I use the lid of my casserole dish to rest the beef (saves washing!)


Remove the meat and toss in the onions, mushrooms and carrots, one ingredient at a time, seasoning each time.


Place the beef back in the casserole, along with the herbs and garlic.


Cover with red wine and stock and simmer for one hour (I left it to cook for two hours) or until the meat and vegetables are cooked. To make the roux, in a separate pan melt the butter, add the flour and cook for two minutes.  When the stew is cooked, remove the meat and vegetables. Bring the remaining liquid to the boil and add one tbsp of roux. Whisk the mixture until the roux is broken up and the juices have thickened, allowing to boil. Replace the meat and vegetables, and taste for seasoning. (I sometimes thicken the stew with 1 heaped tablespoon of cornflour mixed with 1 tablespoon of cold water, pour into the stew, stir continually until it has thickened)



Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with champ.




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