Homemade Beef Stew & Buttery Sage Crust

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Beef Stew with Buttery Sage Crust

If you know anything at all about me, you know that I have a penchant for Fall & falling leaves & those wonderful rich colors & all sorts of autumnal glee. Nothing to me says the emergence of a new season like seasonal ingredients and dishes. As soon as the weather starts to change, my internal clock begins to tick in tune with the accents of dishes that will bring out the best of the season.

I've been singing about squashes for a month now! I've slowly moved on to those lovely, earthy root vegetables and am beginning to reach for the apples every chance I get. So, naturally, a few nights ago, after having come across a pre-assembled raw vegetable kit labeled "Winter Stew Selection" in my local grocery, I set off to make the perfect vat of homey and chunky, warm and tasty beef stew.

This stew is so simple (and so delicious) and, like any good stew, after you do the chopping and the dicing and the seasoning, it cooks for you!
The thing about stews is they are the perfect way to use up some winter veg from your pantry. Because of this, I don't tend to measure out my ingredients and just measure to taste and preference. Basically, put in as little or as much of the ingredients as you want, remembering you can substitute and omit as you wish!

Ingredients I Used:
beef medallions x 2
potatoes x 4
carrots x 3
rutabaga or swede x1
onion x 1
ground sage
olive oil
knob of butter
tomato paste
beef stock x 1 pint or 2 cups
red wine

Brown the onions and the sage in the butter and olive oil for about 3 minutes. Toss the beef in a little bit of seasoned flour and add to pan. Stir in stock, tomato paste and vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil. Pour into casserole dish. Top with rosemary. Cover and cook until meat is tender on low heat. I cooked mine for about 3 hours on 160 C/320F.

For my unattached crust, I used:
1 cup plain/all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sage
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk

Combine all in a large bowl. Form into ball, roll out and cut into circles or whatever shape you want. Leave in the fridge and bake for the final twenty-five minutes of your stew's cook time. Place the crust into the casserole dish with the stew and bake for a further five minutes, allowing some of the juices to be absorbed by the crust.

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