Guests in the House
There will be guests tomorrow and I need something to serve – something to match the time of the year, can be prepared with fresh ingredients and can cook today and be served tomorrow. My choice: an Autumn Beef Stew.
This one is inspired by a beef stew I have seen in a Jamie Oliver book – it looked great, sounded tasty and sure enough a stew is easy to make and can be served the next day. As always, what I had seen in the book served as “inspiration” but I made my own changes to it – namely, I like my stew with either home-made Spätzle or dumplings on the side so I remove anything that would not go with that (such as potatoes in the stew, etc.)
What you need
I quickly stopped by the local grocery shop this morning to pick up the following (preferably fresh, not the supermarket stuff):
- about 1000g beef, suitable for a stew (that is a lot of meat, if you like it less meaty than I do, take about 800g)
- Garlic, 2 onions, 2 parsnips, 4 carrots and a butternut pumpkin
- a can of peeled tomatoes
- a bottle of red wine
- 1/2 Liter of Beef Stock
- Sage leaves and rosemary
- Olive oil, butter, flour to dust the meat
Pre-heat your oven to 160°C. Peel the onions and cut them to small pieces – don’t cry! Then peel the carrots, half them and chop them into thin slices. Repeat the procedure with the parsnips. Now, take the pumpkin and cut one half into dices – about 1cm to half an inch. Put everything on the side.
If you have been clever (or nice to the butcher) your meat is already diced properly – if not (like mine), cut the meat into pieces of about 2cm so one can easily eat them without cutting. When done, dust the meat with flour and put it to the other prepared bits.
You now need an appropriate pot – one that can go onto the oven first and then into the oven later! And it needs to be big enough for the stew.
Put it on the oven and add just enough butter and olive oil to cover the base. When the butter is is molten, add the sage leaves and the onions – cook till the onions start to get glassy.
Now add the meat and stir. Wait for the meat to gain some color and develop some flavor. Then add the remaining ingredients – parsnips, carrots, the pumpkin and the tomatoes. When everything is properly mixed, add the wine and the beef stock – you need enough liquid to make sure all of the bits and pieces can actually cook in it. Finally, season with freshly ground pepper and salt as needed and let it cook – I have it sit in the oven for three hours at 160°. You need to try it from time to time – it is done when you think it is done – meaning when you think the meat is soft enough and all the other things as well…
The good thing here is: it would not mind staying in the oven another hours, so your family or guests do not really have to rush to the point for you to serve them.
Before serving, cut the rosemary and the garlic into fine pieces and mix them – sprinkle over the plates when serving. It just smells great and tastes even better! Enjoy…