JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

A good beef stew with thyme and anchovy

I made this yesterday for Lucius and some American friends of his who were coming to supper. It had to be easy, because I was off to my beekeeping class (this year's project), so Lucius had to dish it up, when he'd much rather be chatting than worrying about food. The idea was to make double rations, so that there would be plenty to freeze, but it was so good that there's not much left. This stew is strongly flavoured.

Chop three large onions and sweat in a little olive oil. Add one kilo of diced stewing steak. Turn up the heat and brown. Add a dash of wine (I used port, because there was some around). Shake in some flour (about a tablespoonful). Add all the contents of a tin of anchovies (chop them first if you like, but they'll melt away to nothing. Add four sliced carrots.Stir in a finely chopped sprig of thyme (my sprig was very big, to go with the strong flavour given by the anchovy). Add liquid (I used chicken stock and some water) to just cover. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for an hour or two, depending on the cut and size of the meat.

Served with baked potatoes, cauliflower bake, and a tomato salad. I ate it lukewarm when I got back from beekeeping (we discussed the diseases of bees, which are many and varied). It would be good with a little orange zest grated into it (or a strip of orange peel added at the beginning and fished out before serving).

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