With winter making its presence felt, comfort food such as this rich hearty stew is a welcome addition to any menu.
1 kilogram braising beef (I used chuck steak)
½ cup brown rice flour or regular flour
200 grams bacon, sliced 1cm pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced
4 large Portobello mushrooms, quartered
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 cup red wine
1 cup good beef stock
sea salt and ground pepper
12 fresh oysters
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 150°C fan bake.
Cut the beef into large bite-sized pieces and toss in seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour so it doesn’t catch and burn.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan and cook the beef in batches until golden on all sides. Add more oil to the pan as needed. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole dish.
Pour off and discard the oil in the pan, leaving the sticky bits behind.
Add a fresh splash of oil along with the bacon and onion and cook for 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and cook for 5 minutes, adding a splash of water if the pan is too dry. Add the wine and let it bubble up and reduce by half, then add the stock. Season and bring to the boil then pour over the beef.
Cover the meat with a piece of baking paper then a tight-fitting lid or foil.
Place in the oven and cook for 2½ hours or until the meat is very tender.
To finish: Just before serving tuck the oysters into the casserole, adding any juice too, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Scatter with the parsley to serve. Serves 4-6
Cook’s Tip: I like to use thick cut streaky bacon, but regular bacon is fine too.