Basic Beef Stew

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A simple recipe for a basic beef stew that will always produce good results and can be varied widely to be as fancy or simple as you like.


Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 3 hours
Serves: 4


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°c.
  2. Chop the meat, shallot, carrot, celery and parsnip into bite sized pieces. Finely chop the garlic. chopping the ingredients
  3. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan, then season the meat with salt & pepper and fry it until it is browned on all sides. Doing this in batches allows enough room between each piece of meat which helps the meat to brown instead of boil. When the meat is browned all over, transfer it to an oven proof dish with a lid. browning the meat
  4. De-glaze the frying pan with the red wine, then stir the mustard into the red wine and pour it over the meat. Add the thyme and bay leaves, season with salt & pepper.
  5. Heat the remaining oil in the same frying pan and then add the shallot and carrot. Fry until they begin to turn brown, then add the celery and garlic. (Do not add the parsnip at this stage.) Fry for a further 2 minutes before transferring it all to the dish with the meat. browning the vegetables
  6. Put the parsnip into the dish with the meat and other vegetables and mix it all together.
  7. Pour half of the stock into the frying pan, bring it to the boil and then add the beurre manié and whisk it in. When the beurre manié has been completely incorporated, pour in the rest of the stock, mix it in, bring it to the boil and cook it for 1 minute before pouring it into the dish with the meat and vegetables. adding the liquid
  8. Put the lid on the dish and place it in the oven for 3 hours, checking it every half an hour to make sure there is enough liquid (if it appears to be getting too low, just add some hot water).
  9. After 3 hours, remove it from the oven and serve. the finished beef stew
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Useful Information

Can it be frozen? Yes.
Can it be prepared in advance? Yes, it can be finished up to 3 days in advance. Reheat it in a sauce pan.
Will leftovers be nice? Yes, for up to 3 days.


- This stew recipe is very versatile and the ingredients list can be widely varied to suit your needs or tastes, for example mushrooms or chopped bacon would make a good addition. The important part is the method.

- When making a stew, it is good practice to use a suitabley sized pot to cook it in. Ideally, the mixture would come three quarters of the way up the pot. Otherwise, if the pot is too big, it can boil dry and burn because the stew would have too large a surface area compared to its depth.

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