Having received a pressure cooker for Christmas, I couldn’t think of a better way to experiment than by cooking a traditional beef stew. Here’s what I did, including methods for the hob and the oven if you’re not blessed with a pressure cooker.
In reality you can experiment with any vegetables you like, but here’s what I used. I know a proper Welsh stew might not stretch to baby corn and should probably include bacon and leek, but I was just using up some leftover veg.
Ingredients (to serve 3-4)
450g Welsh stewing steak, diced
300g potatoes, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 large onion, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
4 carrots, sliced
200g baby corn
1 beef stock cube
1 pint of water
Salt and pepper
I put the meat into the pressure cooker first, followed by the carrots, onion, baby corn, celery and finally the potatoes. Then, I made up a pint of beef stock and added that along with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. After struggling for the best part of half an hour, I managed to secure the lid and began heating the stew on the stove on a medium heat. Once the pot started hissing, I reduced the temperature and left it to cook for 20 minutes. The end result was a warming, hearty stew full of goodness. You can add a little flour to thicken it if you like, but I didn’t bother.
I definitely recommend getting a pressure cooker if you haven’t got one already. They’re a godsend if you haven’t got time to cook or want to preserve the nutritious value of your food.
If a pressure cooker’s not topping your wishlist right now, fret not. Read on to discover how to cook stew on the hob in a normal pan or in the oven.
To cook stew on the hob, it’s the same method as for the pressure cooker, only it takes 2 hours on a low-to-medium heat.
To cook stew in the oven, preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Fry the meat in a little oil until lightly browned and sealed. Remove from the heat and transfer to an oven-proof casserole dish. Top with the potatoes, carrots, onion and baby corn, finishing with the celery. Add a pint of beef stock and some seasoning, before placing the dish in the oven for 2 hours. After this time you will need to check if the meat is cooked – if not, you may wish to cook it for a further 30 minutes.
And that’s it. Oh, and stew always tastes even better the next day, so don’t forget to tuck into any leftovers!