Organic Beef & Ale Stew

Beef stew

So this is a reasonably classic beef stew recipe but I have taken the liberty of reworking it to include more wholefood goodness. As with all our recipes organic ingredients are always recommended first if available. Animal fats and meats are best from organic and pasture raised animals. The beauty of these stew type recipes is you can use quality organic meat but cheaper cuts and they remain as delicious. Plus you can freeze portions to make meal times easy – wins all round!

Serves 4-6   Approx time: 200   Difficulty: super easy

Ingredients

  • 3 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 800g organic chuck steak diced
  • 500 ml ale or stout
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain spelt flour
  •  3 fresh tomatoes & small can organic tomato paste or 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • Himalayan salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
MethodIf using the oven to cook your stew, preheat it to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel the carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop.

Put a casserole pan on a medium heat. Put all the vegetables and the bay leaves into the pan with the ghee and fry for 10 minutes. Add your meat and flour. Pour in the ale and tomatoes. Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of salt and a few twists of pepper.

Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or alternatively cook in an oven for 3 hours. Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking. When done, your meat should be tender and delicious. Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper. You can eat your stew as it is, or you can add some lovely dumplings to it.

 

Thyme & Spelt Dumplings

Serves 6   Approx time: 45   Difficulty: super easy

Ingredient

  • 250 g spelt flour:  1/3 white to  2/3 wholemeal
  • Fresh garden thyme bunch chopped finely
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 125 g butter, really cold
  • Himalayan salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
MethodPreheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5
Put your flour into a mixing bowl
Using a coarse grater, grate your cold butter into the flour
Add a pinch of salt and pepper
Using your fingers, gently rub the butter into the flour until it begins to resemble breadcrumbs
Add a splash of cold water to help bind it into a dough
Divide the dough into 16 – 24 pieces and gently roll each into a round dumpling. The dumplings will suck up quite a bit of moisture so if your stew looks dry – add a cup of boiling water and give it a good stir
Place the dumplings on top of your fully cooked stew and press down lightly so that they’re half submerged
Cook in the oven or on the hob over a medium heat with the lid on for 30 minutes

 

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