The other day while shopping at Jaya Grocer, I spied very fresh cuts of beef shin. This is the tough cut and is suitable for long stewing like for cooking rendang, beef curry or beef stew.
I know. I am not supposed to stock up anymore for the time being until I finish up what I have in the freezer. But it's not often that I come across fresh beef and the cut that I want. So I gave in and bought not just one packet but four.
To justify my purchase, I made sure to cook two packets of the beef. It has been quite some time since I cooked beef stew. It's a very versatile dish because it has meat and vegetables (albeit all soft and mushy) and it can be eaten on it's own or accompanied by crusty bread (yum!), rice, mashed potatoes or pasta.
Usually I would use either tomato paste or crushed tomatoes for the base but this time, I went for a shortcut method by using bottled pasta sauce. After all, pasta sauce is made with tomatoes and has all the seasonings that are similar to what is used in beef stew.
I used Tomato and Basil pasta sauce as I liked the flavor. I only added diced carrots, celery and onions besides the beef which I browned first in olive oil.
Thanks to my very cute red dutch oven (worth every cent I spent), I was able to cook the stew in the oven, something I had been wanting to do, just like how they do on TV.
After I browned the beef, I sauteed the diced carrots, celery, onions, chopped garlic and a sprig of rosemary until aromatic and softened. Then I added the pasta sauce and returned the browned beef into the pot. After it came to a simmer, I covered the dutch oven and transferred it to the oven to slowly cook for 2 hours. After 2 hours, I let it cook for a further 1 hour on residual heat.
Since the pasta sauce was already well seasoned, I only added more freshly cracked black pepper to the stew and garnished with some Italian parsley. This stew tastes even better after sitting for a day in the fridge.
I have already had 3 portions for my weekday meals and the remaining one portion is still in the freezer for another day.
Easy Beef Stew
Recipe source : Phong Hong
- 700g beef, cut into chunks (I used beef shin)
- some flour to coat beef
- 1 spring rosemary
- 2 ribs of celery, sliced
- 1 carrots, cut into cubes
- 2 onions, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jar Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce (680ml)
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1. Heat oil in dutch oven.
2. Coat beef pieces in flour and brown in the hot oil in batches. Remove and set aside.
3. In the same oil, saute the celery, carrots, onions, garlic and rosemary until aromatic and onions are wilted.
4. Pour in the pasta sauce and return beef into the dutch oven.
5. Bring to a boil and lower to a simmer.
6. Either continue cooking on the stove or cook in the oven at 180C for 3 hours or until beef is tender.