So we have a fair amount of really good stew meat (beef) and need a recipe. Most everything we see online seems really bland. Looking to chit-chat it up. Oh, and we do have hot Serrano peppers from the garden.
All reality is a game. Physics at its most fundamental, the very fabric of our universe, results directly from the interaction of certain fairly simple rules, and chance... (Iain Banks)
Assuming you have a slow cooker:
1kg beef cut into 25mm cubes 2 medium onions, finely sliced or diced 1.5kg potatoes, cut into 40mm cubes (they need to be big) 3 carrots cut into big rounds. You can substitute swedes or turnips. 6 shallots, chopped 1 red pepper 1 cup tomato paste 2 cups red wine (can be replaced with beef or vege stock)
"Spices" 2-3 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon ginger paste, 1 tablespoon garlic paste (can be 2-3 tbl spoons if you prefer), several sprigs of thyme, 2 scotch bonnet peppers - finely diced, paprika / allspice / curry powder - 1 or 2 teaspoonas each, salt & pepper.
Optional extras: 2-3 celery sticks, chopped. 500g field mushrooms, cut into quarters. Gravy powder.
Preheat cooker. Brown the beef in a frypan. Dusting it with gravy powder before rrying makes the maillard reaction more intense (tip: Heston Blumenthall). Do this in several stages, not too much at a time. Browned beef into cooker.
(Frypan should be oily and have brown bits from the beef - this is good, but add some more canola whenever necessary).
Put onions, shallots, garlic, capsicum and all the "spices" into the frypan. Celery too. Stir gently but constantly until the onion is translucent. Pour this mixture over the beef in the slow cooker.
- No more oil -
Add raw mushrooms to the cooker, if you've included them. Add tomato paste to the hot pan and stir aggressively for about a minute. Add the wine and stir gently for a couple more minutes. Pour everything into the slow cooker. Carrots, potatoes into the slow cooker (or turnip, swede etc) Pepper and salt
Cook on high for about 4 hours, or low for 8 hours. Do not open the lid until time is up. Goes well with rice or flatbread.
Here's one I like that incorporates both beef and one of your chillies. Metric (apologies) quantities serve two.
Braised Beef with Cinnamon, Chilli and Chocolate
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 50g streaky bacon, diced 1 small onion, roughly chopped 1 garlic clove, crushed 1 (red) chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped 350g braising steak 1 tablespoon plain flour 200ml beef stock 200g can chopped tomatoes ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper ½ teaspoon sugar half a cinnamon stick 25g dark chocolate, chopped
Heat the oven to 160c/Gas 3.
Fry the bacon and onion in the oil until the onion has softened and the bacon begins to crisp. Add the garlic and chilli and cook on 1 min. Transfer this mixture to a flameproof casserole dish. Toss the beef in seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Fry the beef in batches until browned. Deglaze the pan with the stock. Add the beef, stock, tomatoes, cayenne, sugar and cinnamon to the casserole. Bring the casserole to the boil, then transfer it to the oven for 1½ hours. Stir the chocolate into the casserole before serving.
Something just a little bit different, and very tasty.
Spanish Beef Stew with Olives
1-1/2 pounds beef Stew Meat, cut into 1 inch pieces 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup chopped onions 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried fennel seeds 1 cup red wine 1 can (14 to 14-1/2 ounces) ready-to-serve beef broth 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) garlic-seasoned diced tomatoes, undrained 1/4 cup tomato paste 1 jar (7 ounces) green olives with pimentos, drained
1.Combine flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Reserve 1 tablespoon flour mixture. Lightly coat beef with remaining flour mixture.
2.Heat 1 tablespoon oil in stock pot over medium heat. Brown beef in batches; adding additional 1 tablespoon oil as necessary. Set aside.
3.Add onions, oregano and fennel seeds to stock pot; cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until onions begin to soften.
4.Add wine to pot; increase heat to medium-high. Cook and stir 1 minute or until browned bits attached to pot are dissolved. Stir in beef broth, tomatoes, tomato paste and reserved flour mixture. Return beef to pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 1-3/4 hours or until beef is fork-tender.
5.Stir in olives. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until olives are heated through.
6.Serve with mashed potatoes.
Cook's Tip: To cook in a slow cooker, combine flour, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Lightly coat beef with flour mixture. Add beef, onions, oregano, fennel, wine, beef broth, tomatoes and tomato paste to 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 quart slow cooker. Stir until combined. Cook on HIGH 4 to 6 hours or on LOW 8 to 10 hours. (No stirring is necessary during cooking.) Stir in olives and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Served with mashed potatoes.