Saturday, September 12, 2009

A simple Tomato and Beef Stew

I love a bowl of piping hot, hearty stew during winter.

But I'm back in Singapore now and there is no such thing as winter in tropical Singapore, of course. (Although their is winter sales in some stores.. Quite strange, I think.)

But on rainy days, I think a bowl of hot stew really warms the heart.

This tomato and beef stew is a personal favourite of mine. It is filling and good to have on its own, or with some nice crusty bread. And of course, it is simple to make too.

300g - 400g beef, cut into reasonably sized pieces and seasoned with pepper and salt
A few baby potatoes, washed and cut into 4s (I like to use baby red potatos, when I can get them)
1 carrot, cut into big pieces (about the same size as the cut potatos)
2 large onions, cut into big pieces, as above
2 large tomatos, cut into big pieces, as above
1 can tomato puree (I sometimes substitute with canned diced tomatoes, or tomato sauce even. If using tomato sauce, add 2 to 3 tablespoons and add more fresh tomatos)
4 to 5 big bowls of Beef stock
A few dried bay leaves, or fresh bay leaves, if you have them
Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste

What I did
1. Add some olive oil (or butter if you like) to a pot. When it is well heated, add the beef , onions and bay leaves
2. When the beef turns brown on one side, turn them over.
3. Add a tablespoon or two of plain flour and mix with the juices from the beef
4. Add in potatoes, carrots and tomatoes
5. Add in the beef stock
6. Let simmer for about an hour or more. Leave the pot half-covered and add more stock, to prevent stew from drying up, if required
7. Season with pepper and salt, to taste

I also added in some fresh oregano leaves to add more flavour to the stew this time, as my oregano plant had a few leaves to spare.

Usually, I prefer to cook my stew longer so than all the potato and carrots get really soft and the beef kind of crumples as you bite it, so I'd leave them on the heat for about 1.5 hours at least.

My friend R's second helping...
Second helpings are always good news for the cook

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