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

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Lazy beef stew

I thought I'd posted this weeks ago, but found it lurking on the dashboard, marked as a draft ...

Okay, this dark beef stew, rich in taste and soft as butter .... contains only beef and onions, took less than a minute to put together, and cooked very slowly for nearly four hours. I wouldn't pass it on if it wasn't good.

Very lazily, I opened a can of Eazy onions, tipped them into a heavy casserole, added 750g Hereford beef stewing cubes from Waitrose, clamped on the lid and put them in a slow oven (150C). I had a mild panic after a couple of hours, thinking that the meat would have dried out ... but when I peeked, I found a lovely juicy half-cooked stew. Unbelieveably tasty and tender after nearly four hours. The key is to make sure the lid fits well; if you're unsure, put some greaseproof paper over the top of the pot and then clamp on the lid.

If you don't have Eazy onions (they're worth looking out for, a good shortcut when you're in a hurry), or aren't quite that lazy, then you could add a little effort to this by chopping and slowly sweating a couple of onions. You could also flavour this stew any way you wanted ... a little thyme, perhaps, or some chili, or orange peel and anchovy with a garnish of olives, or ... well, you get the idea.

Just don't think you've got to dredge the meat with flour and spend hours frying it if you want a delicious casserole.


Sophie said...

Eazy onions - that's a new one to me. Will definitely be on the look out for those!

labelga said...

But canned tomatoes are supposedly as good, if not better than fresh ones! So don't say lazy.

Joanna said...

Yes, it's true, canned tomatoes are terrific, and this is the time of year when I make the switch from fresh, when the very last of the summer's crop has been eaten up. Canned tomatoes are DEFINITELY better than hothoused "fresh"

That said, the onions, though good, perhaps even excellent, are not quite as good as the ones you've cried over ;) Sometimes they're just what's needed

Anna said...

So is this kind of like a pot roast? I don't eat meat. But I do have a topside of beef in the freezer for husband - have promised to cook it for Christmas. I've stewed beef in ale or red wine before which has always gone down well. So I was looking at pot roast recipes where you just put onions and things in a casserole and bake for hours... seemed a bit strange to me, does it really not dry out?

Allotment Lady said...

ooh yes - I agree with Anna - ale is wonderful in a slow cooked beef pot.

I have a slow oven in my cooker - as well as a fan oven, a traditional oven and a small oven.

If you are doing pot roasts - there is one thing to watch out for - any veggies you use (apart from finely sliced onions) cos veggies take hours and hours to cook - unlike the meat - strange to believe isn't it? So you need to either cook or part cook your veggies before adding to the pot roast.

In slow over or one of those cook pot crocks - you need to get to boiling point your stock or water too - for the same reason - the heat is so very low that it will take too long to heat up.

But in a fan or conventional oven that is not the case!

Lovely Lazy Beef - Joanna