I've made it a few times, and decided it would be a good dinner last night, as it was so bitterly cold yesterday *shivers*
The recipe is pretty much made up by me, so there aren't really any proper measurements, but that's kinda the point *laughs*
One thing I should note is that I don't tend to put vegetables in. I don't like the texture of them when they've been cooked in a stew, so I serve roasted root veg on the side. But you can throw in any veg you want of course ;)
So, how I make it... This isn't so much a recipe as a bunch of stuff I do, but it's good!
Dust the beef chunks with a mixture of flour, salt, pepper and a teaspoon(ish) of dried mustard powder, before browning in a pan (by the way, if you want to make this in the slow cooker, it works perfectly - apart from needing some thickening at the end - and if you put it on in the morning then I really wouldn't bother browning the meat, who wants to do that first thing?!)
Throw the meat into the casserole dish/slow cooker.
I then cover it in a sauce made from the following:
- Stock - whatever you fancy. I put a lot of extra flavour in, so it really doesn't have to be beef stock. Vegetable stock actually works really well
- Oxo cube (or 2 - depending how much I'm making!)
- Generous splash of Worcestershire sauce
- Few drops Tabasco sauce
- Tablespoon of Bovril. You can use Marmite instead, but I like to use Bovril for the really meaty taste. I don't actually like marmite or bovril, but they add a wonderful savouriness to stews and gravies.
- Generous glug of HP Steak Sauce. This one I add because it is kinda tangy and cuts through the rich flavours, but it isn't necessary.
- Generous squeeze of tomato puree
- Splash of red wine if you have any going spare ;)
Of course, you can add any flavours you like, and omit any you don't, but this is the combination that I have found to give a really wonderful, rich stew. Enough liquid to cover the beef is perfect.
Just in case you're not familiar with some of those ingredients:
Cook for hours... Scientific, I know *laughs* In the slow cooker, I would put it on low and cook all day, in the oven, probably 180 degrees for 3-4 hours, on the hob over a low heat for 3-4 hours. But it depends really, so I just keep checking on it.
Like I said earlier, slow cooker versions will probably need some thickening as there is less reduction of the liquid.
You can put the veg in with the stew, or do as I do and serve it alongside honey roast root veg:
I love having slightly crisp, caramelised carrots and parsnips to dip into the gravy *grins* I roast them in duck/goose fat, with seasoning and a drizzle of honey. I had some baby potatoes needing to be used up, so I threw them in as well.