The perfect cozy stew

This beef and red wine stew with parmesan dumpling is the perfect slow cooked meal for a cozy winter’s day.

Ingredients:

1kg beef gravy

1 tbs olive oil

1 onion

6 bacon rashes

200g mushroom

¼ pumpkin

4 carrots

2 cups beef stock

1 cup red wine

2 thyme sprigs

3 bay leaves

50g butter

2 cups self-raising flour

½ cup parmesan

¾ cup milk

 

 Step 1: Prepare all of your ingredients. Do it now, trust me. The first time I made this recipe I thought to myself, “It’s fine I can get the meat cooking and then organise my veggies.” Fast forward ten minutes and I was madly cutting up pumpkin, while trying to stir the meat and yelling to my sister “where did you put the fresh garlic?” I love cooking, but I can become a bit of a stress head in the kitchen. I’ve discovered that if I get all of my ingredients ready and prepared before I start, cooking becomes a relaxing time for me and I don’t yell at any family member brave enough to come into the kitchen.

 Step 2: Now that you have all of your ingredients nicely laid out in front of you (and you’ve dirtied every bowl in the house) it’s time to get the meat cooking. Pop all of the beef into you an oven proof pot with a splash of olive oil and and cook over medium heat until browned off. Then you can transfer the beef to a separate bowl using tongs and pop all of your veggies and garlic cloves into the pot. Cook these until they start to go soft.

 Step 3: Once the veggies are soft, add the beef stock as well as 4 sprigs of fresh time and 3 bay leaves. Give it a good stir and then you can pop your already browned off beef back into the pot, now add the red wine and give it another stir. Cover the pot and leave to cook for 1 ½ hours, it’s the perfect time to sit on the couch with a good book and enjoy the delicious smells coming from your kitchen.

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Step 4: About 10 minutes before yours 1 ½ hours are up, pre-heat your oven to 200°C and start preparing the parmesan dumplings for the top of the stew (the best part!). For these, all you have to do is rub together the flour and butter (this is easiest to do with your hands, so don’t be afraid to get a little bit messy) and then add the parmesan cheese and milk. Mix this all together and then separate into evenly sized balls (I make around 12). Now it should be time to take the stew off the stove. Place the dough balls on the top of your stew, don’t worry if they don’t quite cover the top, as they will get bigger in the oven, just make sure that they are evenly spaced.

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Step 5: Place the pot, uncovered, into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Once the 20 minutes is up, take the pot out of the over and allow to cool for five minutes before serving. I usually just put the pot straight onto the table and let everyone serve it up themselves, that way they can fight over seconds (and trust me, they will!)

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