Slow-cooked Winter Beef Stew
Dark nights are closing in, the cool air whistles around us when we leave the house. There’s no better time to start thinking about pulling that slow cooker out of the cupboard, and coming home to the beautiful smells of warm food, ready to throw on a plate and indulge. Here’s a simple slow-cooker winter beef stew that’ll have your mouth watering as you walk through the door.
Slow-cooked winter beef stew
- 1.5kg British braising steak, cut into chunky pieces (ask instore about precut!)
- Olive oil for frying
- 3 small onions, each cut into 8 wedges
- 4 carrots, sliced into thick rounds
- 2 celery sticks, roughly sliced
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, halved
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tsp English mustard powder
- 4 tbsp tomato purée
- 330ml brown ale (Newcastle Brown is a great choice)
- 4 Oxo beef stock cubes, dissolved in 800ml boiling water
- ½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 4 bay leaves
- Seasonal potatoes to serve
- Heat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1. Heat a glug of oil in a casserole (one with a lid) over a medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and fry for 8-10 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for 4 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, heat a glug of oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. In a bowl, toss the beef with the flour, mustard powder and salt and pepper. Brown the beef in 2-3 batches, then add to the casserole with the tomato purée and ale. Stir well and bubble over a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the stock and Worcestershire sauce and add the bay leaves.
- Pop the mixture in the slow cooker. Adjust your heat setting to when you’ll be ready. We recommend a low setting for around 8 hours
- Check the beef is tender (it should fall apart easily when prodded with a fork) taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with seasonal potatoes.