Saturday, 20 January 2007

Waiter There's Something In My ... Stew

Muffin-topped Beef Stew

Andrew's call for stews as a new blogging event got me excited. Ever since the IMBB event stopped I was hoping someone would come up with a similar widely encompassing blog meme. It's nice to have one that would gather bloggers all over the world from all manners of persuation and basically have a big blogworld foodfest.

As per usual habit, I wanted to submit something Filipino but my husband emphatically said he doesn't want any stew that has tomatoes in it. I think the recent spate of pastas on our dinner table has done him in. That ruled out the Pinoy angle since all the stews without that offending ingredient I have already blogged before. So I've decided to do a simple beef stew but with its dumplings twisted into a muffin-like topping.

I had to do some adjustment to the recipe by Lesley Waters in the GoodFood magazine. For one, I thought it had too much sauce but the topping dough sucked up a lot of it so that was alright. Still the sauce was on the thin side so I noted in the recipe to add a little of the flour coating. Plus I had to add some Worcestershire sauce to correct its blandness and add mushrooms and reduce the carrots. There were too many changes that I think the beef stew was from my own recipe and I just kept the topping which was fab, by the way, and extremely yummy. It was looking particularly attractive with the cheese on top baked to a crisp golden colour.

Muffin-topped Beef Stew

500 g  stewing steak - cut into chunks
2 Tbsp flour - seasoned with salt and pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion - chopped
2 medium carrots - peeled and chopped
2 large parsnips - peeled and chopped
200 g  mushrooms - sliced
1 bay leaf
2 Tbsp tomato paste (optional)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 cup red wine
2 cups stock

225 g  flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 Tbsp baking powder
140 g  cheddar cheese - grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2/3 cups milk
  1. Preheat oven to 150°C/fan 130°C/300°F.
  2. Toss beef in seasoned flour. Reserve 1/2 Tbsp of excess flour mixture.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pot. Brown the flour-coated beef in high heat. If need be, do it in batches. Remove from pot once colour changes. Set aside.
  4. Lower heat and fry onions until soft and translucent - about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the carrots, parsnips, mushrooms. Cook 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the reserved flour mixture and cook for a few seconds.
  7. Bring back beef in the pot. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
  8. Add bay leaf, tomato paste (if using), Worcestershire sauce, red wine, and stock.
  9. Bring to boil then put in oven. Bake for 1 3/4 - 2 hours of until the beef is tender.
  10. While the stew is in the oven, make the topping: Mix flour, baking powder, and half of the cheese.
  11. Combine milk and olive oil.
  12. Stir in milk mixture to the flour mixture to form a soft dough. If need be, add milk a little more at a time.
  13. Once the stew is done, remove the pot from the oven and raise the temperature to 190°C/fan 170°C/375°F.
  14. Spread (you may have to use your hand) on top of the stew and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  15. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Muffin-topped Beef Stew

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