11 January 2012

beef stew with cider

The cider in this recipe brings out the sweet flavours in the parsnips, swede and carrot. Make up a larger batch and freeze half - this one tastes better with age!

For 4 people...

1 swede
2 leeks
2 carrots
2 parsnips
1 bay leaf
500ml water
1 garlic clove
500ml dry cider
3 celery stalks
1 teaspoon thyme
1 beef stock cube
1 onion or 5 shallots
1 handful of mushrooms
800g diced casserole beef
salt, ground black pepper and oil

1. Chop the veg into biggish (2 inch) chunks, half the mushrooms and finely slice the garlic.

2. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in your pot and fry all the chopped veg, with the garlic and mushrooms for a couple of minutes.
3. Add beef and fry for about 5 minutes until it has browned.
4. Now add the bay leaf, the dried thyme and crumble in the beef stock cube. Then pour over the cider and water, put the lid on and bring to the boil. Take the lid off and let the stew bubble for a few mins so that any alcohol in the cider evaporates.

5. Put the lid back on, turn down to a low heat and leave to simmer for 2 hours. After this time, the beef should be tender and the vegetables soft.

Serve with lashings of freshly ground black pepper, a glass of cider, and some brown bread and butter to mop up any juices left in your dish.