A hearty winter stew to chase away the cold!
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 large carrots, in chunky slices
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 thyme sprigs, 1 whole and 1 leaves picked
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
- 850g stewing beef (or use butter beans for a meat-free version)
- 2 tsp corn flour (optional)
- Fry the onion in 1 tbsp oil over a low heat until they start to soften – about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, bay leaves and thyme, fry for 2 mins, stir in the purée and Worcestershire sauce, add 600ml boiling water, stir and tip everything into a slow cooker. Crumble over the stock cubes and stir, then season with pepper (don’t add salt as the stock may be salty).
- Clean out the frying pan and fry the beef in the remaining oil in batches until it is well browned, then tip into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4 hrs. Alternatively cook in the oven at 160oC or gas mark 3 for 3 hours.
- If you want to thicken the gravy, mix the corn flour with a splash of cold water to make a paste, then stir in 2 tbsp of the liquid from the slow cooker. Tip back into the slow cooker, stir and cook for a further 30 minutes on high. Stir in the parsley and season again to taste. Serve with potatoes.
Leave to cool before freezing.