Oh boy it was cold this morning! And when it is cold outside nothing says "Warm me up baby" like a rich beef and red wine stew. I think this recipe is the BEST ever beef and red wine stew. It is rich, unctuous, and delicious. Everything you want from a stew.
I use gravy beef for my stews, it is a sinewy cut, but after a few hours slow cooking the beef is meltingly tender and the tough sinews have cooked into the sauce giving it a beautiful thickness without the need for flour or thickeners. That makes this perfect for people with a gluten intolerance. (Gravy beef is a cut from the top of the leg and is also called beef shin.)
Tonight we just had big bowls of this with some fresh bread, but it is perfect for serving over a pile of creamy mash. Or for topping with dumplings. I nearly made dumpling tonight, but I had some crusty bread left over from breakfast, so bread won the day. Now I am craving dumplings, so I might have to whip up a creamy chicken and dumpling stew next week!
There are two special ingredients in my beef and red wine stew. I say special but they are everyday store cupboard ingredients, but they combine to add a richness and depth to the stew. Soy sauce and maple syrup, just please make sure it is real maple you are using and not a maple flavoured syrup. The flavoured syrups tend to be gloopy and don't like long slow cooking. If you don't have maple syrup then raw sugar will work just as well.
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Beef and Red Wine Stew
- 1.2 kg gravy beef (also called beef shin)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 50 ml water
- 3 carrots
- 3 onions
- 3 celery stick
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g/13oz)
- 300 ml red wine
- 750 ml beef stock
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 250 g mushrooms
- Cut the beef into large chunks. Do not worry about removing the fat/sinews as they will dissolve and give the stew great flavour and thicken the gravy.
- Add the oil to a large casserole pan and sear the beef in batches until it has a browned crust on both sides. As you cook a batch remove to a bowl to ensure you collect any juice that comes off.
- Once you have seared all the beef, pour the water into the empty pan and stir and scrap the bottom to deglaze the pan. The tip the rich flavoured water into a jug or small bowl and set aside.
- Peel the carrots and onion and then chop them into large chunks.
- Wash the celery to remove any grit and then chop into small slices.
- Add an extra teaspoon of olive oil to the deglazed and fry the onion, carrot and celery over a medium/low heat until softened.
- Finely slice the garlic cloves and add to the onion mixture.
- Stir constantly for about a minute.
- Add the beef back into the pan, pouring any collected juice in as well.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes, red wine, beef stock and deglazing water.
- Stir the tomato paste, maple syrup, soy sauce, bay leaf and fresh thyme into the stew and bring it to a simmer.
- Turn the heat down to the lowest setting and cook, uncovered for 2 ½ hours until the beef is tender.
- Slice the mushrooms into thick chunks and add to the stew. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf before serving.