Now I'm not a big fan of winter, there's something about the freezing cold the sun setting at 4:00 and the terrible weather that just doesn't appeal to me. The only consolation is that when conditions outside are so bad it is the perfect time to cook food this good.
Casseroles and stews are amongst my foods of choice during the winter, perfect for warming up again after I've been out in the freezing cold! They also provide a great way to use all the winter roots that are abundant at this time of year.Last night I cooked Beef and Guinness casserole, although it was a simple affair containing few ingredients it packed in plenty of flavour, thanks largely to the Guinness. This beer (stout to be accurate) has an intense flavour that is a perfect match for beef. After long slow cooking the flavour mellows quite significantly to leave a beautifully rich meaty gravy which is why I served mine with good crusty bread to mop up every last bit.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 2 pounds (900g) Stewing beef, diced.
- 6 onions roughly chopped.
- 4-5 carrots roughly chopped.
- 2-3 sticks of celery roughly chopped.
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed and chopped.
- Herbs, I used thyme sage and bay.
- 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard.
- 1 can of Guinness (you could use another beer, choose something with plenty of flavour)
- 1 Beef stock cube.
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven on a low heat, around gas mark 2.
- Heat some oil in a large oven-proof pan on the hob and brown the meat on all sides.
- Add all the vegetables to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add everything else to the pan and season well with salt and pepper.
- Make sure everything is well mixed, put a lid on the pan and put in the oven for at least 2 hours, preferably longer.
- Serve with good bread.