Britain is having a very cold February, to the point where I’m having to defrost my car most days. Its irritating but also has a tendency to get me down, so I whipped up this lovely stew after getting the meat on a great offer from Morrisons 🙂 I already had everything else in my cupboards/fridge so I just raided my stock to see what to pair the meat with – invention cooking is definitely my specialty!
1 pack (approx 600g) diced beef
1/2 pack (approx 350g) minced beef
1 large Parsnip, cut into half inch slices and cut in half
2 large carrots, cut into half inch slices and cut in half
1 large sweet potato, scrubbed and cut into half inch chunks
1 pack button mushrooms, halved (sometimes more for the larger ones)
1 knorr beef stock pot, made up to 900ml with hot water
100ml red wine (I used a 2014 Barossa Vines Shiraz)
1 small handful black peppercorns (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tbsp gravy granules
Use a pestle and mortar to crack the peppercorns, and the thyme, and add to the stock. Once the stock is cool, add the wine and give it a thorough stir or whisk.
Layer everything in the slow cooker, vegetables (excluding mushrooms) then meat and covered with the stock, and turn it to low for approx. 10 hours. I always cook mine for ages because I like my meat fall-apart soft, but if you don’t want to leave it as long just reduce the amount of stock used and then the time. Don’t be tempted to take the lid off! It smells amazing but it’ll really impact the cooking time.
Add the mushrooms and cook for a further hour. Stir in the gravy granules and leave for five minutes, then add more if you want it thicker.
Serve hot with sliced crusty bread – a French-style baguette works brilliantly – and butter so people can help themselves. If you’re feeding a number of people I recommend putting the slow cooker in the middle of the table on a protective mat and letting everyone help themselves.
This can obviously be tweaked for any vegetables but I happened to have those in my fridge so that’s what I went with, and it worked perfectly! I got roughly 6 portions out of mine but you can always stretch it further by serving with roast potatoes.
Let me know your invention dish of choice!