Stewy goodness

There’s nothing nicer on a cold winter’s day than coming home to a slow cooker bubbling away enthusiastically while the smell of Tuscan beef stew wafts throughout the flat.

This was the greeting we received last night and it made for a very happy evening.

I forgot to take a photo of our stew, such was my haste to begin eating it, so I’ve borrowed one from here. The recipe is from an excerpt of Gary Mehigan’s Comfort Food. I’ve adapted it slightly but I’m sure Gary wouldn’t mind.

For me, stew is hands down the best thing about winter. Oh…and goose down doonas :)

Tuscan Beef Stew
Serves 4
Pre time 15 mins
Cook time 5 hours in the slow cooker

1 kilo chuck steak cut into 4cm pieces
Ground black pepper to dredge
50 ml olive oil
150g pancetta, cut into 2cm cubes
1 onion, quartered
1 carrot, cut into bite size pieces
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 large kipfler potatoes
A handful of snow peas
100ml red wine
100ml white wine ( I didn’t have white so I did 200ml red wine)
4 cups beef stock
2 bay leaves
2 thyme sprigs ( I used about 10 as I always feel recipes under thyme things)
Parsley to serve

1) Dredge beef liberally with ground black pepper.
2) Heat oil in a large pan, cook beef in batches,  stirring for 6-8 minutes, until browned all over. Remove from pan. In same pan, cook pancetta for 3 mins, until golden. Remove from pan.
3) Place all meat in slow cooker, top with onion, carrot, potatoes and snow peas.
4) Cover meat & vegetables in wine, stock, bay leaves and thyme.
5) Mix it all around, whack the slow cooker onto auto.
6) Come back six hours later, serve with rice and chopped parsley.