Beef Stew – oh so comforting, oh so easy

I love using cheap cuts of meat for cooking – too many people go straight for the fancy steaks or the racks of lamb, but take a minute to choose a cheaper cut and spend that extra bit of time cooking and you will be rewarded. Beef stew is the perfect way to enjoy such a cheap cut of meat, use a gravy beef or casserole cut to achieve the best results. Such a comforting and easy dish, a good stew is a thing of beauty.

I love this version of Jamie Oliver’s beef stew, it represents everything a good stew should. Its cooked slowly, has a great combination of vegetables and the effort factor is minimal. Another benefit of cooking a stew like this is the ability to easily freeze your meals for later in the week – for when you can’t be bothered cooking. And that’s exactly what I did yesterday, I spent a glorious Sunday afternoon cooking for the week ahead. Now I just have to wait patiently for dinner time to come around.

So don’t be afraid to save a bit of cash at the supermarket next time by buying the cheaper cuts of meat. I know you will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of your next meal by doing so. Slow cooking is such a rewarding way to cook and leaves your house smelling like absolute food heaven.  So give this beef stew a chance, I promise you’ll love it.

Serves 4

Beef Stew

Beef Stew

The List:

Olive oil

1 knob of butter

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 handful fresh sage leaves

800g quality stewing steak or beef skirt, cut into rough chunks

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Flour, to dust

2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped into chunks

4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped into chunks

½ butternut squash, halved, deseeded and roughly diced

1 handful Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and halved, optional

500 g small potatoes, chopped into chunks

2 tablespoons tomato purée

½ bottle red wine

285ml beef or vegetable stock

finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1 handful rosemary, leaves picked

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped


The Method:

  1. Put a little oil and your knob of butter into an appropriately sized pot or casserole pan. Add your onion and all the sage leaves and fry for 3 or 4 minutes.
  2. Toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then lightly brown the meat in your pot.
  3. Add into the pot all the vegetables, the tomato purée, wine and stock, and gently stir together.
  4. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and just a little salt. Bring to the boil, then bring down to a low simmer and place a lid on top, then cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Serve this is by ladling big spoonfuls into bowls, accompanied by a glass of French red wine and some really fresh, warmed bread. Mix the lemon zest, chopped rosemary and garlic together and sprinkle over the stew before eating. Just the smallest amount will make a world of difference – as soon as it hits the hot stew it will release an amazing fragrance.


Save on the washing up - serve in the pot at the table

Save on the washing up – serve in the pot at the table

So easy, so comforting

So easy, so comforting

*Recipe sourced from Jamie Oliver

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