Last night was cold! I got the winter duvet out and my sheep skin slipper placed next to the bed for the cold I knew was coming this morning. I'm not complaining though, Autumn is such a fabulous season. We still have lots of hot days and sunshine but we also get to light the fire in the evening and to indulge in richer warmer foods and desserts and red wine and cheese... mmm... happiness.
One meal I associate with cold weather is stew, and the combination of red wine, beef and mushrooms is unquestionably wintery. The stew recipe below is full of warm rich flavour but ending it off with some al dente peppers adds a little lightness to the finish. Served with fluffy steamed rice and crispy salad I think it’s the perfect autumn meal.
Beef StewServes 6
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
600g lean beef goulash cubes
2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
½ tsp turmeric
6 medium tomatoes, chopped (or 1 can of tomatoes)1 cup of red wine (or substitute with beef stock)
1 cup of beef stock
1 cup of carrots, grated
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
250g mushrooms, washed and quartered2 Tbsp of oil
1 Tbsp of soya sauce
1 Tbsp of flour
½ cup of milk
1 Tbsp sugar/xylitol (or to taste)
1 red, yellow or orange pepper, deseeded and chopped into chunky squares
Heat the oil on high heat, in a medium sized thick bottomed pot. Add the onions, beef cubes and spices and fry to until just browning. Add the garlic, tomato, wine, stock and carrot and bring to the boil. Once the alcohol has cooked off the wine (about 5 - 6 mins), drop the pot to low heat allowing the stew gently simmer and put on the lid. Leave this cooking, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking at the bottom of the pot, for an hour and a half or until the beef is tender. Then add the chopped potatoes.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms. You want to fry the mushrooms until they have at least halved in size and started to brown a little (5 – 10 minutes). Then add the soya sauce and fry and until the soy has coated the mushrooms and the liquid has evaporated. Add the flour and brown this a little. Add the milk and remove from the heat while stirring vigorously until all ingredients have combined. Return to the heat and allow the sauce to thicken into a thick mushroomy paste.
As soon as the potatoes have cooked through add the mushrooms, salt, sugar and peppers stir well and switch off the heat and replace the lid. Let this rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Serve with a salad and/or steamed rice.
This meal freezes well, so make double and keep the rest for another meal.