Christmas Presents in Full Use

My grandparents and my sister got us gift cards to John Lewis for Christmas.  John Lewis is a massive department store in London.  Thankfully Mr416expat had no qualms about me running loose with the gift card.  I was able to get something I’ve wanted for a long time.  The sort of thing you don’t often buy for yourself but, well, if it’s given to you (or you have a gift card) you don’t feel so badly.  I’ve wanted a Le Creuset casserole for about as long as I’ve been obsessed with cooking blogs.

What better way to take advantage of all that fabulous cast iron, slow heat goodness, than to make some stew.  Check it out…

Hello there and welcome to my kitchen

leave lots of space between the meat pieces in order to get a nice sear

add one can of beer

simmer away

add some other stuff and enjoy

Beef Stew – adapted from the Pioneer woman’s Beef Stew with Beer and Paprika

2 good glugs of olive oil
1 tbsp butter – for flavour
2 lb stewing beef
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1  12oz can of lager (that’s beer)
4 cups of stock (beef or vegetable)
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
3 tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
carrots, cut
potatoes, cut
spinach

Add the olive oil and butter to your brand new le creuset (or regular large soup pot as I used for many years quite successfully) over medium-high heat.  Season the stewing beef generously with salt and pepper.  Brown the beef in batches, leaving lots of room in between the pieces.  Remove the beef from the pan once seared on all sides.  Add the diced onions to the pan and stir them around to pick up bits of all that goodness from the bottom of the pan.  When softened, add the garlic and cook for another few minutes.  Pour in the beer, stirring to deglaze the pan, then add the stock, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, and paprika.  Add the beef back to the pan.  Stir to combine, cover and leave to simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Add the carrots and potatoes and cook for an additional 30 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your desired finish.   In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add several handfuls of spinach, stirring to combine.  Serve up with crusty bread and Enjoy!

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