Monday, April 18, 2011

Jool's Favorite beef stew

The days here are slowly getting shorter, the evenings have a slight chill in the air, I can smell the scent of wood burning in the distance and the trees are dropping their leaves...yep, autumn is in full swing here and I can detect slight hints of winter in the air.
This weather makes me want to pull out all my cook books and start cooking comfort foods...bah!  Bad for the waist line but oh so yummy.

A dear friend of mine lent me a couple of cookbooks over the weekend and I have been drooling over them for the past two days.  The books are Jamie Olivers "Jamie's dinners" and Nigella Lawson's "feast".

So today, being first day of school holidays we decided to stay in as, yet again (like every school hoiday is seems) it was dark and rainy and quite cold. 
I got cooking.
I made the recipe from Jamie Olivers book on page 238.  Its a stew called "Jool's favourite beef stew" named after his beautiful wife Jools.
Here is what it looks like ...

It smells DEEEVVVVIIINE!!!  Let me tell you.  Its is bubbling away as we speak.  In the book it says "Jools goes mad for this stew in the colder months of the year..." and let me tell you I get what she's on about.Mmmmmm....

Serves 4
Olive Oil
A Knob of butter
1 onion peeled and chopped
a handful of sage leaves
800g of stewing steak
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
flour to dust
2 parsnips
4 carrots
1/2 butternut squash
500g small potatos
2 tablespoons of tomato puree
1/2 bottle of red wine (yum)
285ml of beef stock
zest of 1 lemon
a handfull of rosemary, Leaves picked
1 clove of garlic.

Preheat oven to 160 degrees.  Put a little oil and butter into a caserole pan.  Add onion and all the sage leaves.  Fry for 3-4 mins.  Toss the eat in a little seasoned flour then add it to the pan with all the vegetables, tomato puree, stock and wine.  Gently stir together.  Gently season together with the salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil and place the lid on top, then cook in a preheated oven untill the meat is tender. (about 3-4 hours)
Once it is cooked you can turn the oven down to about 110 degrees then just hold it there till your ready to eat.

The best way to serve this is by ladeling big spoonfulls into bowls, accompanied by a glass of french red wine an some realy fresh, warm bread.
{Along with this stew, I made some yummy fresh focaccia bread in my breadoven....yummo!}

Mix the lemon Zest, chopped rosemary, and garlic together & spinkle over the stew just before eating.  Just the smallest amount will make the world of difference~as soon s it hits the hot stew it will release an amazing fragrance.
                                                                      ~Bon App├ętit !

The very cute Jamie Oliver himself.


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