15 June 2014

Simplicity and Rick Stein's beef in white wine

Simplicity in life and simplicity in cooking is always the best in my books

With a world moving faster and faster, information just one click away, food already picked or slaughtered for us, billboards of wants flashing up everywhere our eyes will and can travel to…it’s no wonder stress is such a prominent condition amongst us.

For this reason I like to STOP and revel in the sound of rain pattering on the roof, take delight in the almost uncontainable squeals of my nieces laughing and snuggle in close to my dear little dachshund, Pipsqueak. These are the things that make me happy. So simple.

Today I want to share with you a wonderfully simple and incredibly flavoursome dish from one of my favourite celebrity chefs, Rick Stein. I cooked this a few days ago for my parents and we were amazed be the depth of flavour. I think the trick with this recipe is to make sure you very gently cook those onions for the 30 minutes Rick suggests. It makes them incredibly sweet and helps make this stew rich and comforting, perfect for these winter months. Impatience will not do this recipe justice, so please find your Zen self prior to the commencement of chopping.


Rick Stein's beef in white wine Oviedo style

Beef in white wine Oviedo style (Spanish)

from Spain by Rick Stein

Serves 6

1.5kg chuck or blade steak (I used chuck)
7 tbsp olive oil (who measures oil?)
600g onions, chopped into 1 cm pieces
10 garlic cloves, crushed
6 fresh bay leaves (I couldn’t find fresh so just used dried instead)
300ml dry white wine
300g small carrots cut into 5cm lengths
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Trim the meat of any fat and gristle and cut it into 3cm chunks. Season well with salt and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole and fry the beef in batches until nicely browned. Set aside on a plate.

Add the remaining olive oil and the onions, garlic, bay leaves and ½ teaspoon of salt to the pan and cook very gently over a low heat for 30 minutes until the onions are soft and sweet and golden.

Return the beef to the pan, add the wine, bring to the boil and season with another ½ teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Cover and leave to simmer gently for 2 hours, stirring now and then.

Uncover, add the carrots, re-cover and cook for a further 30 minutes until the wine and meat juices have combined with the onions to make a thick sauce and the meat is meltingly tender. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

I served this with mash potato because I was in a real comfort mood. Rick suggests serving it with fried potatoes or patatas fritas.