There is nothing better than kicking back on the sofa under a blanket on a cold winter's night while the aromas of slow cooked beef stew float through the house. A real hearty treat.
3 small onions, each cut into 8 wedges
4 carrots, sliced into thick rounds
2 celery sticks, roughly sliced
200g chestnut mushrooms, halved
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1.5kg British braising steak, cut into chunky pieces
4 tbsp plain flour1 tsp English mustard powder
4 tbsp tomato purée
330ml brown ale
4 Oxo beef stock cubes, dissolved in 800ml simmering water
½ tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 bay leaves
Seasonal potatoes to serve
Heat the oven up to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1. Heat a splash of oil in a casserole dish (one with a lid) over a medium heat on the hob. Add the onions, carrots and celery and fry for 8-10 minutes until softened. Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry for 4 minutes more, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, heat a splash of oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. In a bowl, toss the beef with the flour, mustard powder and salt and pepper. Brown the beef in 2-3 batches, then add to the casserole with the tomato purée and ale. Stir well and bubble over a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the stock and Worcestershire sauce and add the bay leaves.
Bring to the boil, cover, put in the oven and cook for 4½-5 hours.Check the beef is tender (it should fall apart easily when prodded with a fork) taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve with seasonal potatoes.