A hearty winter stew to chase away the cold!

Serves 2


  • 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)


  1. 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).
  2. 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.
  3. 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.