Stewing is a slow method of cooking. There is something about the rich sauce, tender meat, and flavour infused vegetables that make stew so delicious.

Key tips for stewing: Use the right meat for the dish. The best cuts of meat include.

Beef: Rib steak and stewing pieces,

Lamb;Neck or shoulder,

Chicken; Leg .

By choosing tougher, well marbled piceces of meat with lots of connective tissues, they will not dry out in long cooking time but instead the tisssues and marbling will melt and give the stew body. The right equipment is also important. Use a large Dutch oven or large heavy deep pot with tight-fitting lid. If the lid is not tight, fold alluminium foil and place it in the gap between the lid and the pot.

 

Get Ready

Trim the cubes for leaner beef if you wish or ask us to do it for you in-store. Keep the stew cube size consistent for even cooking.
Cook’s Notes:
– Beef stews, are great for entertaining since they can be made the day ahead. Stew flavours meld together as it sits so it tastes better next day. Gently re-heat in the oven, or slow cooker to serve.

 

 

Browning the Beef

Heat vegetable oil in pot over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Pat beef cubes dry to ensure good browning.

Season cubes with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Sprinkle flour over browned beef and toss together - the flour will thicken the sauce.
Brown beef all over in batches, to avoid overcrowding the pan.Turn cubes with tongs to sear beef cubes on all sides. Remove browned beef to a bowl.

The brown bits are flavour if brown, and bitterness if black. If you do burn them, discard them so your stew doesn’t have a burnt flavour

Cook’s Notes:
– Browning the beef before simmering gives beef stew a rich colour and flavour.
– For a stew-like dinner that’s faster to prepare, you can use a Simmering Steak instead of stewing cubes; that way, you have only one piece of meat to brown. Simmer as you would for making a stew
– Overcrowding meat in the pan will cause meat to steam rather than brown.
– You can dredge the beef cubes in seasoned flour before browning if you like – but sprinkling the flour over the browned cubes is easier and less mess.

 

 

Cook the Veggies

Sauté flavourings such as onions and/or garlic or mushrooms in a splash of extra vegetable oil (if necessary) until just softened.
Saute root veg such as carrot, celery and potatoe will also add to the flavour
Cook’s Notes:
– Onions are cut into wedges lengthwise so they keep their shape in the stew. Onions that are cut crosswise tend to melt down into the background of a stew when they cook.
– If flavourings start to scorch add a splash of water to the pot.

 

 

 

Deglazing

Deglaze the pot by stirring in wine and/or stock/broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

 

Cook’s Notes:
– The browned bits from browning the beef add lots of beefy flavour to the sauce. and, just as importantly, not burn them when you are searing the next batch.

 

 

Cook.

Return the browned beef and any juices to the pot; add enough broth/stock to just cover the meat. Add the seasoning such as dried thyme and/or bay leaf.
Bring to simmer. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pot and place in a 325°F oven for an hour-and-a-half until the beef is fork tender.
Don’t rush it. Cook stews at a very low temperature, just below a simmer if possible. The meat is then allowed to become tender in it’s own time.
Before serving, Rest stew for at least 20 minutes to allow the flaviours to infuse
Season to taste
Cook’s Notes:

Cooking the meat very slowly once the liquid goes into the pot. If you cook it beyond a lazy simmer, the meat might get tender, but it will also be dry.

Check your pot every hour and see that the liquid has not shrunk if so add water/ stock