The flavours in this are deliciously bonkers, rich and gorgeous and just a little out of the ordinary. It’s easy to prepare, and it’s another recipe that you can get ready then leave in the oven for ages… Head out for a walk and come back in to a house full of lovely aromas of simmer stew, feel smug, feel toasty warm, and eat well.
Rich Beef Stew (serves 7-8)
25g dried porcini mushrooms
900g stewing steak
5 tbsp sunflower oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1” fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
125g pack sun dried tomatoes
2 tsp dried mixed herbs
300ml red wine
300ml beef stock
2 tsp dark brown sugar
Cover the porcini in 150ml of water and leave to soak for an hour.
Soak the shallots in boiling water for a few minutes, then peel – the skin comes off much more easily.
Using a peeler, slice all the outer peel off the orange in strips – you’re just after the orange bit, not the white pithy stuff. Juice the orange after you’ve sliced the peel off.
Brown off the meat in a casserole dish in 2-3 tbsp of oil, add salt and pepper. Remove the meat and keep warm. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry the shallots till golden. Put the meat back in, plus the garlic, ginger, tomatoes, mixed herbs. Cook for a minute or so.
Add the mushrooms and their liquid to the casserole, plus the wine, stock (oxo is fine!), brown sugar, orange juice and peel. Bring it up to a simmer, then cover and put it in a the simmering oven (140C) for about 4 hours.
Add a few sprigs of thyme before serving, and you can add some olives, fried mushrooms or both if you’re feeling like it – but it’s good as it is.