Preparation and cooking time
- Prep:15 mins
- Cook:3 hrs – 3 hrs and 50 mins
- Serves 5
A traditional braised beef stew with thick, rich gravy – an ideal recipe for cheap cuts, as slow-cooking guarantees a tender dish
- 2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 really big carrots, halved lengthways then very chunkily sliced
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 thyme sprigs, 1 whole and 1 leaves picked
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
- 850g stewing beef (featherblade or brisket works nicely), cut into nice large chunks
- STEP 1
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and put the kettle on.
- STEP 2
Put 2 thickly sliced celery sticks, 1 chopped onion, 2 chunkily sliced carrots, 5 bay leaves and 1 whole thyme sprig in a flameproof casserole dish with 1 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 tbsp butter.
- STEP 3
Soften for 10 mins, then stir in 2 tbsp plain flour until it doesn’t look dusty anymore, followed by 2 tbsp tomato purée, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce and 2 crumbled beef stock cubes.
- STEP 4
Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in 850g stewing beef and bring to a gentle simmer.
- STEP 5
Cover and put in the oven for 2hrs 30 mins, then uncover and cook for 30mins – 1hr more until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thickened.
- STEP 6
Garnish with the picked leaves of the remaining thyme sprig.