As it's the weekend we decided that a long slow cook would give us the most family time and require the least time at the stove. It also meant that I could spend a bit more time knocking our house about. Having lived in it for over 10 years we are now trying to give our house its Victorian charm back. The latest challenge is reinstating the fireplace in the living room and striping back the floorboards. But this is a food blog not a DIY blog so I'll move on.
To give us the required time to get on with things we decided on a beef stew. As usual we didn't have a recipe to hand but we did have a pack of Swillington Farm braising steak, onions and celery. The only decision to be made was, what liquid to cook the meat in. I fancied Guinness but Z rightly pointed out that St Patrick's Day is around the corner so we skipped that one.
In the end a bottle of red wine ended up in the stew along with some carrots for extra bulk. We dusted the beef in flour, seasoned with salt, pepper and mustard powder, before frying it off. It helps to thicken and season the final stew and takes so little time that it's definitely worth doing. After three and a half hours we served the stew with steamed broccoli and boiled potatoes.
I will not be doing a post tomorrow (Sunday 4th March 2012) as we are going to a friend's dedication party. Normal service will be resumed on Monday.