Sunday, April 23, 2006
Tonight for dinner I cooked up a lovely humble beef stew in keeping with my current theme of Winter slow cooking. It was an Italian dish inspired by Stefano de Pieri from Allan Campion & Michele Curtis’ Food With Friends’. I served it with some cheesy Polenta from the same book, the polenta was delicious, well worth the effort & a nice change for me from my usual mash potato or couscous. After 3 hours of cooking the meat was nice & tender & the liquid had turned into a delicious flavour filled thick goodness, very simple yet oh so good. The polenta was a great match for it & it was another great cold nights dinner, can you see the heart warming steam coming off it?
Olive oil for cooking
2 carrots, diced
2 onions, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1.5kg blade steak, diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled
250ml (1 cup) red wine
4 potatoes, peeled & diced
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
250ml (1 cup) tomato sugo
1 bay leaf
salt & freshly ground black pepper
250-375ml (1-1 ½ cups) beef stock
Heat a large heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Add a generous splash of olive oil and carrots, onions & celery & cook for 5-6 minutes until soft but not coloured. Remove, add more oil if necessary & cook beef in batches. Cook until well sealed (browned), return vegetables to the saucepan along with all other ingredients & enough of the stock to cover the meat.
Bring to a gentle simmer & cook for 2 ½-3 hours over a low heat, partially covered until meat is tender. Check seasoning.
750ml (3 cups) water
750ml (3 cups) chicken or vegetable stock
270g (1 ½ cups) polenta
90g parmigiano, grated or shaved
Bring water & stock to the boil in a heavy based saucepan. Sprinkle polenta over & whisk in to prevent lumps forming. Reduce to a low simmer & cook fro 20 minutes, stirring often until the mixture thickens. Take care, as the polenta can splutter & burn. Add more stock or water if it becomes too thick to stir. Remove from heat & stir through parmigiano, season to taste & serve.