You will probably have a beef stew recipe that you always break out when the weather starts to turn, or during the winter months when it is especially chilly. Well we love beef stew in our house and I am always trying to find new recipes to add to my collection that can keep everyone smiling and warm inside! This stew was in one of my favourite children’s recipe books ‘The Red One, An Ella’s Kitchen Cookbook’ which I never expected to like at all but was bought on the off chance by my Mum who is a total cook book hoarder! I’ve made a few adjustments to the original recipe to suit our family and I think this is a perfect stew, plus it is a great way to get iron into your child with all of that red meat and apricots!
What you need
- 2 tablespoons of oil
- 750g of diced stewing beef
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 300g carrots, chunky slices
- 4-5 dried apricots, chopped up into small pieces
- 2-3 dried prunes, chopped up into small pieces
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon of juice
- 750ml beef stock
- 150g blackcurrant jam (or plum/damson/apricot – play around with it!)
- freshly ground pepper to season
Preheat your oven to gas mark 2/160C/315F.
Heat your oil in a large casserole dish and brown your beef, setting aside with a slotted spoon to allow the oil to stay in the dish.
Add the onion and garlic and fry for 2 minutes until translucent and soft. Add the carrots, fruit, tomato puree and flour and cook for another 2 minutes.
Return the beef to the dish (with all of it’s juices!) along with the lemon rind and juice, stock and jam of your choosing. We really prefer the blackcurrant jam, it just seems to give such a rich flavour and it is truly delicious!
Season with pepper and cook in the oven on slow cook for 2 hours, checking that the beef is tender to the fork. If not, back in the oven for another 30 minutes, you really want the beef to just fall apart! Yum!
The recipe book tells me that I can serve this with pasta as well as mash potatoes, but I can honestly say the boys (and the adults too) only really like stews with mash potato and green veg in this house. You could, however, give it a go with pasta or even rice in your family! Either way, a platter of crusty bread on the table is a must while the rain pours outside… or maybe even the snow as we get nearer Christmas!