This is good old comfort food at it's best! There is nothing better when it's a cold winters evening than making and eating a hot pot, casserole or braised meat dish - served with loads of piping hot, buttery, mash potato and peppered cabbage, maybe a few carrots .......... I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.......I like to get the fire burning, the kitchen all warm and snug, maybe the radio on and just immerse myself in the making of this meal - shutting out the cold dark wintry night!
This dish of braised, slow cooked beef steaks are meltingly tender and also makes use of a really cheap cut, so it's a good weekday meal that's filling, very satisfying and wont break the bank.
recipe - enough for 4
4 large steaks of braising beef shin
flour for dusting
2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon allspice berries
2 large onions
1 head celery
1 pint beef stock
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon horseradish sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 large glass red wine - a good full bodied wine that you can also drink with the meal
2 cloves garlic - flattened with the back of a knife
a few sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper to season
Grind up the peppercorns and allspice berries. Mix in with the flour and coat the steaks on both sides.
Heat up some olive oil in a heavy based casserole pot and fry the seasoned steaks on both sides until sealed and browned. Lift out and set them aside.
Whilst the steaks are sealing you can make up you stock and chop the veg. Mix together the beef stock, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and horseradish. Add a few of the thyme leaves and mix to a smooth sauce.
Peel and chop the onion into thick wedges - leaving the root on will hold the wedges together when sliced. Wash the celery heats to remove any grit and then cut into quarters to again make wedges.
Put the casserole back on the heat and when piping hot, pour in the wine and let it sizzle. Scrap up the bits on the bottom of the pan leftover from frying the steak - this tastes wonderful and also helps to thicken the sauce as it all cooks. Add the onion and celery, pour over you stock then the steaks go in. Finally pop in your sprigs of thyme, the garlic and season with a little salt and pepper.
Cover with a lid, turn the heat down, to a very low simmer, and allow to cook for 2 hours.
After 2 hours the meat should be really tender and will easily fall apart - if it's not quite ready just cover and cook for a little longer. The stock should have thickened into a rich sauce and the vegetables into soft, melted onions and celery.
Serve on hot plates with mashed or jacket potatoes and a bowl of creamed cabbage.
Hope that warms you up - or the idea of it at least
Have a great day