Winter warmers: One-pot wonders
WINTER warmers and one-pot cooking is all about using simple vegetables, full flavoured cuts of meat and those winter herbs that may not get much of a look in during the summer months. Old-fashioned cooking is what I like to call this.
Feel free to use other cuts of meat, such as diced round, or gravy beef, diced lamb, venison, even lamb shanks would be ideal.
You may need to adjust the cooking time depending on the cuts, but a sure way to know when it's cooked is the tender meat that just about falls apart when you go to eat it.
I have really packed the vegetables into this recipe, please yourself with your selection and add your favourite combinations.
Slow-cooked beef with vegetables, red wine and winter herbs
INGREDIENTS: 2 tbs olive oil 2 medium-sized potatoes, diced into 2-3cm chunks 200g peeled pumpkin, diced 2 zucchini, diced 2 carrots, diced 200g mushrooms, quartered 2 tbs plain flour 1 tbs smoked paprika salt and pepper 800g chuck steak or stewing steak, diced into 2-3cm cubes 1 tbs olive oil extra 2 brown onions, diced 1 stalk of celery, sliced 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 2 sprigs of thyme 1 sprig of rosemary 1 leaf of sage 2 cups red wine 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
METHOD: I like to cook all the vegetables first to brown them off slightly. I feel that it helps hold the vegetables together a little more and also gives a little more flavour.
Heat the olive oil in a large casserole pot over a moderate temperature and fry off the vegetables except the onion and garlic in their individual lots as they will all take different times. You want them to brown slightly and the potatoes especially to form a bit of a crust, so leave them in the oil for about 2 minutes before you turn them. Set the vegetables aside.
In a bowl combine the plain flour with the paprika and season with salt and pepper, be reasonably generous with the seasoning. Adding in a third of the meat at a time, mix it generously with the flour and paprika mix and set aside until all of the beef is covered.
Reheat your casserole pot over a moderate temperature and add the extra oil, fry off the beef in batches, again leaving the beef in the oil for 2-3 minutes to actually brown, then turn it over, brown it again on all sides and transfer it to a bowl until all the beef has been cooked off.
If you feel the pot is drying out of oil drizzle in a little more before each addition of beef. Add the onions, celery and garlic to the pot and cook for 3 minutes, stirring so that they don't stick to the bottom.
Add the herbs and red wine and cook the wine with the onions for 3-4 minutes, add the beef and the stock.
Bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer , cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes. Then add all of the cooked vegetables and simmer for a further 20 minutes.
This recipe can be cooked ahead of time and simple reheated before serving.
You can definitely cook this in a slow cooker, adding the vegetables for the last 20 minutes.