This month Head Chef Scott has decided to treat you to one of his favourite simple winter recipes, Beef Casserole.
In his words “there is nothing more comforting – it’s virtually a hug in a bowl!” Scott’s recipe is easy to make, warming and healthy too (including at least 2 of your 5 a day!)
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
500 g quality diced stewing beef
500 ml ale, Guinness or stout
2 sticks celery
2 medium onions
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour
400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
freshly ground black pepper
If using an oven as opposed to a casserole pan, preheat to180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel the carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop.
Put a casserole pan on a medium heat. Put all the vegetables and the bay leaves into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes. Add your meat and flour. Pour in the booze and tinned tomatoes. Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper.
Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an oven for 3 hours. Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking. When done, your meat should be tender and delicious. Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving, and taste to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper. You can eat your stew as it is with some crusty bread, or you can add some lovely dumplings to it.