Thursday, 25 March 2010

A Beef Stew to complement the weather

Why why why is it raining non-stop and windy again??? Just when I was beginning to enjoy walking out in open shoes and thin jackets, the weather goes for a toss again...just when I started gym sessions and has to drag my lazy ass out, it starts pouring, and the devil in me contemplates on whether to bunk or not...just when i have a few markets to cover as part of my photography stint, the wind ruins it and I cant take pics with my gloves on...not to mention my plants which have been out on the balcony..some of them uproot and some almost dead. So its not been the best week for me, weather-wise, but on another note, I'm enjoying the work out sessions and already feel a whole lot better. My whole day goes by in a jiffy now that the gym takes up close to 2 hrs and I'm lethargic and tired to cook a full fledged meal. This stew, however, was super easy since i cheated my way through a bit (a lot actually) but i shall not harp on that. The point is, if you have a pressure cooker, life is just way simpler than usual. I still have my pressure-cooker phobic moments, but its of great help whenever i want meals in a short time span. Also, since it was any way cold and windy and wet, why not add to it with hot stew. Here is my take on it:

Lean, diced casserole beef- 500gms
Swede- 1 cup
Carrots- 1 cup
Onion- 1/2 cup
Leek- 1/4 cup
Baby Potatoes- 3
Red wine- 1 cup
Chicken/ Beef stock- 2 cups
Flour- enough to lightly coat the diced beef
Salt- to taste
Pepper- to taste
Thyme- 1 sprig
Oil- 1 tbsp
Green chillies- 2, slit lengthwise (optional)

Season some flour with salt and pepper and lightly coat the diced beef with the same.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Chop up the swede, carrots, leek, onions and baby potatoes into big chunks and add it to the hot oil. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for a while. Add the wine, the beef and the stock and the green chillies, mix well. Add the sprig of thyme and close the cooker. Cook till about 3 whistles (approx.) and keep aside till the steam dies. Open, check for salt, spice etc. and add if required. The gravy should be nice and thick and the beef cooked through. Garnish with thyme and serve hot with dinner rolls..which i did make as well, but with a twist.
I followed this recipe from Spicy Chilly's blog and boy was it a delight. When I told you I cheated, I was not joking. I used the Hovis bread mix for the buns and spiced it up with a whole lot more chilli flakes and avoided the green chillies. I followed Bharathy's procedure to the dot and I must say its definitely a keeper. I could even chomp on it without any accompaniment, although I must say it made a world of a difference with the stew.
Notes: The stew can be made in a stock pot as well, just that the cooking time will be much longer, say 2 to 3 hours on low low heat. What's even better was that it tasted more sumptuous the next day:)
You can throw in mushrooms, celery etc. etc...its again, your choice of veggies
Sainsbury's has an assortment of casserole veggies, which i keep using for a lotta dishes, and its perfect for this stew.
I also used store-bought meat gravy instead of the stock and it tasted yum..although I had to dilute it with about half a cuppa water.

I would like to enter this recipe to the Julie & Julia competition give away hosted by Matt and Carla of foodforfriendsyeah.

PS: Don't you think Sainsbury's should start paying me for the immense amount of publicity I give them ;)


Gulmohar said...

You should be glad that it's only raining, not snowing like here, in
That's a delicious quick fix

RV said...

This looks fab.Can I replace it with chicken instead of beef?

Silence Sings said...

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the stew looks awesome..though beef is not allowed at home, i will make it with chicken..

Sarah Naveen said...

Wow!!! Stew looks simply delicious...loved it

Yummy Team said...

Yummy soup..Beautiful clicks too!!

Cicily Antony said...

stew and buns r yummy!!! u r right..when it rains it is easy to justify missing gym...even i struggle a lot to push i'm sitting here bunking gym...

An Open Book said...

RV: I guess you can..lemme know how it turns out

miri goes phishing! said...

the picture just calls out to be tried out on a rainy day...served hot!...i'm sure you guyz must have loved it...i can't wait to try this out one day...though gone are the wet n' cold days here....