This sumptuous, step-by-step recipe for slow-cooked stew from Gordon Ramsay makes a great winter supper
- 3 tsp goose fat
- 600g shin beef, cut into large chunks
- 100g smoked streaky bacon, sliced
- 350g shallot or pearl onions, peeled
- 250g chestnut mushroom (about 20)
- 2 garlic clove, sliced
- 1 bouquet garni (See know-how below)
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 750ml bottle red wine, Burgundy is good
- 600g (about 1) celeriac
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- rosemary and thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cardamom pod
MethodSeason the beef and fry until golden brown, about 3-5 mins, then turn over and fry the other side until the meat is browned all over, adding more fat if necessary. Do this in 2-3 batches, transferring the meat to a colander set over a bowl when browned.
- 1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
- 200g pack bacon lardons
- 900g braising steak, cut into 3cm chunks
- 225g button mushrooms
- 225g button onions or small shallots, peeled
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tbsp demerara sugar
- 600ml red wine
- 400g can beef consommé (or use 400ml/14floz beef stock)
- 1-2 tbsp cornflour, loosened with 1-2 tbsp red wine or water
- 1kg medium, floury potatoes, preferably Maris Piper or Desirée, quartered
- 50g unsalted butter
- 100ml milk
- (Up to a month ahead) heat the oil in a large pan. Fry the bacon lardons over a high heat for several mins until well coloured. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the pan, drain on kitchen paper and set aside. Season the beef, then fry in the fat left in the pan. Once coloured, add all the remaining ingredients for the beef, except the cornfl our and bacon, and bring to a simmer. Partly cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook for a further 2-2½ hrs or until the beef is tender.
- Once cooked, tip everything into a colander set over another pan so you can catch the sauce. Tip the contents of the colander into a large pie dish, about 28cm x 23cm x 5cm. Re-boil the sauce and check for seasoning. Thicken with the loosened cornfl our, adding a little at a time and stirring until you have the desired coating consistency. Spoon enough sauce over the beef to barely cover and loosen it, then stir. Remaining sauce can be frozen, ready to re-heat and offer separately on the day.
- While the beef is cooling, make the mash. Boil the potatoes until tender, 15-20 mins, depending on size. Drain off the water and replace the lid. Shake the pan to break up the boiled potatoes. Add butter and milk a little at a time while mashing. Season.
- Spoon and spread the mashed potatoes on top of the cooled beef. Once covered, the mash can be marked with a spoon, palette knife or fork for a more interesting fi nish (see Gary’s tip, left). When cold, the cottage pie is ready to cover and freeze.
- The day before serving, transfer the pie to the fridge to defrost overnight. (Or reheat from frozen on the day, see below.)
- On the day, reheat the pie. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. If thawed, bake for 50 mins-1 hr, or until heated through, then increase heat to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 for the fi nal 10 mins for a golden brown topping. If cooking from frozen, cover with foil, then bake for 1¼ hrs; remove foil and bake uncovered for 1¼ hrs more, then increase heat as above for the last 10 mins.
- 1.6kg braising steak, cut into large chunks
- 3 bay leaves
- small bunch thyme
- 2 bottles cheap red wine
- 2 tbsp oil
- 3 large or 6 normal carrots, cut into large chunks
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- small knob butter
- 300g bacon lardons
- 500g pearl onions or small shallots, peeled
- 400g mushrooms, halved
- chopped parsley
- Tip the beef into a large bowl with the bay leaves, thyme, wine and some pepper, then cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place a colander over another large bowl and strain the marinated meat, keeping the wine. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan, then brown the meat in batches, transferring to a plate once browned. When all the meat is browned, pour a little wine into the now-empty frying pan and bubble to release any caramelised bits from the pan.
- Heat the rest of the oil in a large casserole and fry the carrots and chopped onions until they start to colour. Stir in the flour for 1 min, then add the tomato purée. Add the beef and any juices, the wine from the frying pan and the rest of the wine and herbs. Season and bring to a simmer. Give everything a good stir, then cover. Transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hrs until the meat is really tender. Cool. Will freeze for up to 3 months.
- To serve, defrost completely overnight in the fridge if frozen, then place on a low heat to warm through. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a frying pan and add the bacon and pearl onions. Sizzle for about 10 mins until the bacon starts to crisp and the onions soften and colour. Add the mushrooms and fry for another 5 mins, then stir everything into the stew and heat for 10 mins more. Serve scattered with chopped parsley.
- Top crackers with spread, blue cheese, roast beef, and fresh dill.