Irish stew. Cheap warm feed for a wintery day. Made this the other day as I really couldn't be bothered leaving the house as I had too much to do .....and it was frightfully Baltic outside.
The ingredients are pantry staples, and gravy beef ( you also could use lamb neck chops diced up). I get meat from our local butcher in Pinjarra when its on special in bulk and freeze it up. When I and running late I just pop it in the slow cooker as is and leave it an hour to defrost then take it out and chop up. I also find it you chop up par-frozen meat you get it looking more uniformed as its easier to cut - thats if your not super organised and have some fresh cuts in the fridge.
And an interesting side note - osso bucco is the same meat as gravy beef too, just without the bone and generally a tad more expensive. That was a dinner game changer. The hidden ingredient here in this dish is a trick I learnt from a Nigella Lawsons Beef Stew with anchovies & Thyme - a couple of anchovies are always thrown in, as I find it gives the meal abit of depth, and that goes for any beef hearty meal dish. Also I freeze my herbs I use in cooking in little bags/recycled Chinese containers when they are fresh - really easy to have on hand for dishes that call on herbs like 'dill or thyme' that I wouldn't use much
No herbs, anchovies, tomato paste or cornflour etc...so want to cheat? Use beef,carrots,onions,peas, and instant gravy. Its not the best option but its better than spending a fortune getting preprepared stuff from the frozen section in Coles - the house still smells amazing and your still in contention for 'Mother of the Year'
- 1 kg of diced gravy beef / lamb necks
- 2 fat carrots cliced
- 2 onions chopped (garlic if you have it as well)
- 3 anchovies
- heaped tablespoon of tomato paste
- 4-6 sprigs of thyme
- Stock to just cover ( whatever you use - I use frozen home-made stuff)
- heaped tablespoon of olive oil or butter ( I generally stick butter in everything)
- heaped tablespoon of cornflour seasoned with pepper
- Heaps of mashed potato
Easy way - pop everything in a slow cooker, stir and leave on low for 4 hours. Make a mini crater on your plate of mash potato and fill it with the stew.
Harder way - put seasoned flour in a bowl and toss in the meat till coated, brown this off with onions in oil in a pan then return to the slow cooker and follow the above method Sealing in the meat can mean that its alot tender - but phooey, my immediate family don't seem to know the difference, so I generally don't bother unless I'm trying to impress someone whose not blood related.
Hiding leftovers? Pop into a toastie with a bit of cheese and serve with tomato sauce or use shortcrust pastry and fill up a pie maker. Or just freeze for other lazy winter days.