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