Prep 25 mins
Cook 2 hrs 15 mins
This is a savoury, traditional English stew from an early Victorian recipe book. I highly recommend keeping it until next day and reheating it, because the stew will be much more tender and have an even better flavour.
- 3 lbs chuck steaks, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 ounce butter
- 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
- 18 white pearl onions or 18 shallots
- 1 ounce plain flour
- cayenne pepper
- 1 bunch mixed fresh herbs, tied together (thyme, parsley, and bayleaf)
- 1 lb carrot
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Fry the meat in a heavy flameproof casserole dish with the butter and oil until lightly browned.
- Skin the onions by first dipping them for 1 minute in boiling water and then boiling them in 10 oz.
- salted water until they are almost tender.
- Strain, keeping the liquid, and put the onions on one side.
- Sprinkle the flour into the casserole with the meat and let it brown.
- Add the cooking liquid from the onions.
- Season with salt and cayenne pepper, bury a tied bunch of herbs in the center of the meat and bring to the boil again.
- Cover the pan and simmer for 1½ hours, periodically adding a dash of stock if more liquid is needed.
- Prepare the carrots, either, if they are large, by cutting them in half lengthways and then cutting them in small pieces, or, if they are small, simply by scrubbing them.
- Put them in the stew, add the onions and the Worcestershire sauce, stir it in and simmer for a further 30 minutes, until the meat and carrots are both tender.
- Serve if you like with a sprinkling of parsley, chopped shallot and the chopped yolk of a hard-boiled egg, all sprinkled very lightly with a dash of vinegar.
- This stew needs good mashed potatoes or baked potatoes to mop up the gravy.
This was so good I made it again the next day so I could stock the freezer. Rump roast was on sale so I used that. I used fresh parsley and thyme tied with the bay leaf. The parsley cooked down into yecky, slimy strings and I had to go through and pick them all out. The second time I used chopped fresh parsley. Much better and looked nice. The second time I used regular onions and it was just as wonderful. It was a great dinner party meal.
Tie the fresh parsley, thyme and bay leaf in cheese cloth for the cooking portion of the herbs. Do not tie them loose together without cheesecloth or, as DonnaMarie stated, they will be mush and flavor the stew differently.