Sunday Staple: Featherblade and red wine stew

I make stew rather a lot. It’s a nice easy dinner, and if you make enough, you have some for the next day and some for the freezer. I also love the smell of it cooking merrily away while I potter about for the rest of the day.

The vegetable amounts are approximate. I used enough to feed 5, as I always cook for leftovers. I put the potatoes in later so that they won’t fall apart, as featherblade does take a while to cook down.

3lb featherblade steak (any stewing cut can be used, but this is our definite favourite) cut into chunks

2 slices smoked bacon, diced

8 carrots, sliced (I don’t peel)

6 potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 bottle red wine

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp onion salt (husband hates onions, so I use this)

1/2 tsp garlic salt (it adds another bit of zing)

Good pinch dried oregano

2 cloves smoked/unsmoked garlic, sliced

1 tbs HP sauce

1 tbs dark French mustard

2 Bovril stock cubes (much nicer than Oxo, cheaper than Knorr stock pots)

1 wineglass of water

Brown the meat off in batches, add to a large ovenproof casserole dish. (I will be honest here, sometimes I don’t bother, I just bung everything in the one pot, mix well and cook –  though if using bacon, I cook that off first. It still works.)

Cook off the bacon in the same pan you cooked the meat off in, then add to the meat.

Pour a good glass or two of wine into the cooking pan to deglaze, and dissolve all the dry spices in it, plus the crumbled stock cubes. It will thicken up! Do not panic.

Tip this mixture over the meat in the pan.

Add in the carrots, the rest of the bottle of wine, water, the fresh garlic, the mustard and the brown sauce. Mix well.

Cook, covered, on 170ºC Fan for three hours.

Add in the cubed potatoes, mix, cover and cook for another 45 minutes, covered, then take the lid off for the last 15 to thicken up the sauce.

I ladled out some of the liquid and reduced it in a pan to make it thicker and more rich. Definitely works!

Featherblade stew

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