The inspiration for this dish came to me after eating in a local Moroccan restaurant, Tajine, in Souq Waqif. It was a lamb tajine that was sweetened with brown sugar and cinnamon and then baked in the oven. So I decided to incorporate that idea into a stew.
I have never made stew before but I’m definitely a big fan of it. And for the first time, I can safely say, it was really enjoyable to prepare and not the chore I thought it would be! I was shopping for the Irish Foodies Christmas Cookalong and I saw this juicy packet of New Zealand stewing beef. It just had to be done.
Off I trotted home to my evening with the sweetly spiced beef stew.
What I used for the stew:
1.5 Kg Stewing Beef
1 bottle of red wine, I used Drostdy Hof Claret Select
2 1/2 cups beef stock
3 large potatoes
1 large onion
3 large carrots
2 knobs of butter
2 tablepsoons olive oil
Handful of flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 tspn cornflour
Salt and Pepper
Begin by flavouring the beef with salt and pepper.
Cover a plate in flour and cinnamon and dip each piece of beef into it, coating it completely, I had to do this in two batches. Take care not to overcrowd the pan with meat.
While you are preparing the beef, heat butter and oil in a wide based saucepan.
Place each piece of beef in to the pan and seal in the flavours, browning it all over.
This may have to be done in two or three batches. When you are finished browning the beef, keep it on a plate on the side.
When all of the beef is removed from the pan, pour in the red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to make sure all of the tasty meaty bits are mixed in with the wine.
Allow the wine to heat thoroughly and then add in the beef. Bring it to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes.
Add in the cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, ground cloves and cloves.
Then, put the lid on and leave it to cook on a low heat for 90 minutes.
Chop up the carrots and potatoes into cubes and add into the stew. Slice the onion and add in.
Season with salt and pepper.
Stew for a further 30 minutes on low heat.
When the beef and veg is tender, you can serve.
When it was served up, the sauce had turned into a beautifully flagrant gravy. The perfect consistency for the stew. The meat was tender and mouth watering and the vegetables had absorbed all of the flavour, a perfect accompaniment.