T’is the season for stews. Well, I can eat stews all year around but even so I am more inclined to put the pot on the cooker for ‘a one pot wonder’ during the winter. You can find some of my other slow cooked favourites here: Beef Stifado, Beef Stroganoff and Chili Con Carne.
This recipe is also suitable for being made in a slow cooker as it doesn’t contain any dairy products. Using a slow cooker makes preparing dinner so easy, simply put everything in the cooker in the morning, go to work and come home to a delicious meal with only a few, if any, final preparations left.
I have updated the recipe and added a section on how to make the stew using a slow cooker.
Serves 4 people
750g stewing beef
3 cloves of garlic
1-2 red chilies
2 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp of smoked paprika
1 can (5ooml) of tomato passata
enough beef stock to cover the meat (only if not using a slow cooker)
8-10 large brown mushrooms
2 medium leeks
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Peel and chop the onions and the garlic. Set the slow cooker to high and add the chopped onion and garlic first followed by the diced beef. Add the spices and mix well. Finally add the tomato passata and the mushrooms. Cover with the lid and leave on high heat for about 30 minutes to get the stew going. Then turn down to low and leave to cook for however long you are away (I usually leave mine 9-10 hours).
Don’t worry about the stew going dry as there is plenty of juices in the meat that will keep the stew cooking.
About 30 minutes before serving taste and season with more pepper, salt and chili if needed. Also add the leeks to the stew and leave to cook.
Dice the beef – the bigger the pieces the longer it has to cook to be tender. Peel and chop the onions and the garlic. Melt a little bit of ghee (you use can also use olive oil) in a pot – remember to use a ovenproof pot if you want to finish the dish in the oven.
Add the onion, garlic and the finely chopped chili and fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Then add the meat it to the pot and brown all of it before adding the paprika – mix well. Pour in the tomato passata and the the beef stock. Make sure all of the meat is covered. Bring to the boil and cover with a lid. You can then either leave the pot to simmer on the cooker or you can transfer to the oven at 160C/300F/Gas 2.
After about one hour test to see if the meat is becoming tender – it can take unto 3-4 hours depending on the size of the meat pieces, the cut of meat you are using and also how fresh it is.
Add more stock if necessary. When the meat is almost falling apart add the chopped mushrooms, season generously with freshly ground black pepper and some salt. Ten minutes before serving add the sliced leeks and taste to see if the stew needs more salt, pepper or paprika.