Sunday, 29 April 2012

Ginger Inspired Beef Stew for Slow Cookers

Mr R came home the other day with a pack of steak mince he bought at out local supermarket which was reduced for a quick sale - £5.20 reduced to 52p!!! Did I make a good choice he asked me.  He certainly did.  I immediately put the meat in the freezer along with the other meat he got at similar prices until I decided to cook it in my slow cooker.

I have had my slow cooker for about 5 years now and I tend to use it on the weekends when we have lots of shopping and errands to do during the day. If I am organised enough to get it all ready and in the pot in time we can go about our daily routine and still have a lovely meal, especially if we pop up the road to the local pub for a glass or two!!

It's really simple to make a beef stew.  I wanted to use up some carrrot slices and sliced green pepper left over from a My Secret Kitchen food tasting the previous day too.  The only ingredient I had to cut up was a medium red onion which I sliced thinly.

Cut the beef into small cubes if they have not already come cut up.  In a medium sized plastic bag 1/2 cup of plain flour and seasoning and put the meat into the bag.  Holding the bag shut shake it around until the meat is all covered with flour.

Heat up a couple of tablespoons of sunflower or rapeseed oil and fry the meat until it is browned. I added some grated ginger and garlic to give it a bit of an excotic end taste too. Then put it in the slow cooking pot.

I then put the vegetables into the pot and cooked until they were all coated in the oil and transferred the veggies to the cooking pot.

When all the meat and vegetables have been transferred to the slow cooker pot I added one beef stock cube and one beef oxo cube disolved in a mug of boiling water and 2-3 Tbsp of worcester sauce and 1 Tbsp of ketchup.  Give it all a good stir and leave slow cooking for approx 6-7 hours.

I planned to serve the stew with boiled baby potatoes and cauliflower cheese.

Anyone can make a good cheese sauce (butter, flour, salt/pepper, milk and cheddar cheese) but do you want to know how to make a great one?  When the cheese has melted add about 1/3 of a camembert or wedge of brie, 1/2 tsp english mustard and a serious good glug of dry white wine.  This will be an outstanding cheese sauce.  Pour over the cooked cauliflower, grate a bit of cheese over the top and put in the over to brown a bit.

Then all that is left is to serve the meal along with a couple of glasses of crisp, dry, chilled white wine.  Cheers!!

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