This is a great meal to pop in the oven in the afternoon and have a delicious dinner come evening.
I always use 2kgs of meat to allow for lots of leftovers, this stew makes an absolutely brilliant pie filling and the boys love a pie!
As I make this gluten free I don’t flour the meat before browning it, instead I thicken with cornflour towards the end. Double check your cornflour if you are cooking for a coeliac, one popular brand here in Australia is made from wheat!!!
Serves 8 and gives leftovers for 14-16 pies, see below.
100mls olive oil
2kgs diced beef, I use blade
300g pancetta, diced
500g mushrooms, halved or quartered
14 large shallots, peeled and broken into bulbs
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
150g tomato paste
750mls red wine
400mls beef stock
bouquet garni, thyme, parsley and rosemary tied with cooking twine
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons cornflour
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade.
In a large oven proof pan, I use a 6l casserole, heat the oil over a high heat.
Once the oil is hot, brown the meat in batches, set aside in a large bowl.
Once the beef is all browned and removed add the pancetta and cook until crispy and releasing its fat.
Remove to the bowl with the beef.
Now throw the whole shallots in and brown over a high heat.
Remove and add to the beef bowl.
Lastly throw the mushrooms and garlic into the pan and brown a little.
Return the beef, pancetta and shallots to the pan.
Add the wine, stock, tomato paste and bouquet garni. I tie one end of the bouquet garni string to the pan handle, makes it so much easier to fish it out later!
Season with salt and pepper.
Cover the top of the pan with a piece of baking parchment and top with a lid.
Place the pan in the oven and cook for 4-5 hours.
By this point the meat should be very tender.
In a jug, combine the cornflour and a little water to make a cream like mixture.
Remove the casserole for the oven, while stirring, pour in the cornflour mixture mix until the meat sauce thickens.
Check seasoning and remove bouquet garni.
Serve with spinach or buttered cabbage and potatoes.
This casserole is fabulous in a pie, cook a few extra potatoes when making this meal, cut them up and add them to the meat mixture.
Take pastry sheets, cut to shape, line pie cases, fill, brush edges with beaten egg, top with pastry, seal edges with a fork, trim excess pastry, brush with egg and cut a slit in the lid to allow steam to escape.
At this point I freeze most of the pies and keep a few out for dinner.
This came about from our Friday night fast food night challenge.
It actually works very well as fast food because you shove it in the oven and leave it be until it’s time to eat!
The boys love the tangy flavour and the fact that they can eat with their hands, will they ever grow out of that?
Served with pitta, salad and a dressing, normally natural yogurt with some dill and parsley stirred through.
If you are trying this out on children for the first time, maybe think about a little bit of fresh coriander in the salad, it goes beautifully and if they will eat it with this the world is your oyster!
The gluten free option here is to pop some potatoes around the meat to cook in the yummy juice, possibly tastier than the pitta!
2.8kg lamb shoulder, shin attached
2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons salt flakes
3 tablespoons sumac
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon Za’atar
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Centigrade
In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with the salt.
Add the oil and mix in sumac, cumin and cinnamon.
Mix to a thick brown paste.
Place the shoulder in a roasting tin.
Rub the spice mix all over the meat.
Add the onion wedges to the tin.
Cover with foil and pop in the oven.
Roast for 4-6 hours until the meat is falling off the bone.