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Beef and Mustard Stew

A comfort, food classic, best made a with skirt steak, shin or gravy beef for a rich and tender stew. Try with dumplings or as individual, pastry-topped pies. 

1 kg diced stewing beef*
1/2 cup plain flour
olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 stick celery, finely sliced
1 large carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsptomato paste
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp grain mustard
1 x 355 ml bottle pale ale
1 cup beef stock*
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

*we used Moreish organic beef stock and a mix of Moreish skirt steak and gravy beef for great texture and flavour 

Preheat the oven to 150˚C.

Heat a little olive oil in an ovenproof casserole. Season the flour and toss through the beef, shaking off the excess. Brown the beef in batches until lightly golden, transferring to a plate as you go. Add a little more oil to the pan between batches taking care not to let the pan’s base catch and burn. Add the vegetables with a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes, adding a splash of the ale to the pan if it’s too dry. Stir in the tomato paste, mustard and sauces and cook for 1 minute. Add the ale and stock along with the beef and any meat juices. Season and bring to the boil. Place a piece of baking paper over the meat and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Braise for 2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes until tender. Serve as is, or with the following topping suggestions.

Serves 4-6

Puff Pastry Pies

Prepare the stew the day before and let the wonderful flavours develop overnight. 

2-3 sheets flaky puff pastry
1 egg, beaten
4-6 ovenproof bowls or pie dishes

Preheat the oven to 150˚C

On a floured bench or board, place a bowl or pie dish upside down on the pastry sheet and trace a lid for each dish with a knife. Set aside.

Divide the stew between the dishes and reheat in the oven for around 30 minutes or until the stew starts to bubble. Remove from the oven and place the pastry rounds on top. Brush with the beaten egg and return to the oven for another 20 minutes or until the top is golden and puffed.

Easy Dumplings 

200g self-raising flour
100g cold butter
2 tsp caraway seeds 
2 cold water

Place flour in a large bowl. Cut the firm butter into small chunks. Using your fingers quickly rub the butter into the flour.  

Add a little cold water and mix with a metal knife to form a soft dough. Shape into golfball size balls and drop into the top of the hot casserole, pushing the dumplings down a little so they are half submerged. Return casserole back to the oven, and bake uncovered for another 15 minutes, until the dumplings have puffed up a little and are lightly browned on top.

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