Braised Beef and Vegetables

Braised Beef and Vegetables Recipe

Recipe by Sparky - Peas & Figs Resident Chef

This recipe is a very basic version and can be easily be adapted. The process involved is a cooking technique called braising that means a long slow wet cooking process that normally takes place in the oven. A slow cooker uses the same process but has a more accurate control over temperature than an oven. Any braised dish is essentially a stew, and is good because you just use one pan and all the goodness and flavour of the ingredients stays in the pot.

The advantages of cooking in this manner is that you can use any of the cheaper cuts of meat that benefit from a long slow cooking: diced stewing beef, braising steak, beef shin, oxtail, brisket or beef cheeks. If made in advance, once cooled, the stew can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days and the taste will improve with age.

Using beer or wine to replace some of the water will add richness and depth of flavour to the dish. Putting tinned, fresh or puree tomato will help make a thicker sauce and also add flavour. Any root vegetables can be used in pretty much any amounts, the more that are used, the more economical the dish becomes. Different herbs can be used and all add different flavours.

It is best to use meat that comes from a market or a good butcher as most super-market stewing beef tends to be very watery, which then leaks out when you start to cook it. 

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / 356°F / gas mark 3. You can reduce the oven temperature but this will increase the cooking time.

2. In a large hot saucepan (with a lid) fry the beef with a little oil until browned all over. Wash, peel and chop all the vegetables into fairly large chunks and add to the beef.

3. Add 2tsp of salt and some pepper along with any herbs.

4. Add cold water to just cover the meat and vegetables and bring to the boil. Any fat that floats to the top can be skimmed off the top with a large spoon.

5. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 1.5 – 2 hours or until the meat breaks up / comes off the bone when pressed.

6. Serve with potatoes or dumplings.

Food Tags

Information

Preparation Time: 20mins

Cook Time: 1hrs 30mins to 2hrs

Serves: 6 people

Ingredients

1.2 kg stewing beef of choice a bit more if it is on the bone

2kg vegetables; carrot, swede, parsnip, leeks, turnips, celery etc.

2 large onions

5 cloves garlic

Vegetable oil

Water

Salt (if using) and pepper

Thyme, rosemary and bay leaves