Letting this beef stew cook slowly in a slow cooker or low oven makes it deliciously tender and full of flavour. With the carrots, celery, white wine and herbs, the beef also makes a delicious gravy simply from its own cooking juices. Serve up with your usual roast trimmings or mashed potatoes and cabbage wedges for a delicious family meal.
- 1.8kg boned and rolled brisket of beef
- 4-6 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 12 shallots, peeled
- 75g diced pancetta
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 3 celery sticks – 1 finely chopped, 2 cut into 5cm lengths
- 1 x 75cl bottle fruity red wine
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2tbsp tomato purée/ketchup
- 1tsp muscovado sugar
- About 300g Chantenay or young carrots
Make deep cuts in the beef and push garlic slivers down inside. Season the meat. Set the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3.
Heat 1tbsp oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat all over. Put in a casserole or a warmed slow-cook pot. Add 1tbsp oil to the pan with the shallots and brown them. Set aside in a bowl. Reduce the heat and cook the pancetta, diced carrot and celery for 5 minutes.
Pour in the wine, add the thyme, bay leaves, tomato purée/ketchup and sugar. Bring to a simmer and pour over the beef in the casserole or pot. Cover and cook in the oven for 2½-3 hours or in the pot on High for 4 hours.
Add the shallots, carrot and rest of the celery. Cover and cook in the oven for another 1½ hours or in the pot for 2-3 hours.
Put meat on a serving platter with the veg, cover with foil and leave for 10 minutes. Boil the cooking juices in a pan to reduce and thicken. Season. Serve the meat, along with mashed potatoes and wedges of cabbage.
To make shallots easier to peel, put them in a pan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool them under cold running water and peel.