So to the stew (for 2 plus one school lunch), I found and modified a recipe on ifood.tv, I made this the conventional way in the oven, but a slow cooker would do the job as wel. You are going to need...
about 500g diced BEEF, cuts such as chuck, gravy or shin are great, and very economical
1/4 cup FLOUR
3tbs vegetable OIL
1 large ONION, chopped
3-4 cloves GARLIC, chopped
2 large CARROTS, diced
1 can whole or diced TOMATOES
1tsp ground CORIANDER and CUMIN
3/4tsp ground GINGER
1/2tsp SALT and BLACK PEPPER
1 1/2 cups of beef or chicken STOCK
2 CINNAMON STICKS
1 cup dried APRICOTS
Heat the oven to 160C. Roll the beef in half the flour and brown in small batches using the vegetable oil. Add more oil as you need it, our pan is of the pretend non-stick variety so I need a bit more oil. Transfer each batch to a heavy oven proof dish and set aside. (Sorry for the distracting carrot photo, this is the first time I have ever grown a carrot that actually looks like a carrot, isn't it beautiful!)
Add the onion, carrot and garlic to the same pan and gently cook until soft, this will take about 5 minutes. Scrap the pan to get all the tasty bits left behind by the meat.
Stir in the coriander, cumin, ginger, turmeric, salt, bp and ground cinnamon, over a medium heat, stir until the spices have become deliciously aromatic, about 30 second to a minute should do it. Add the remaining flour and stir.
Add the tomatoes, liquid stock, honey and cinnamon sticks. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to the dish and stir to combine with the meat, cover with a lid or foil. Pop in the oven and leave for 2 1/2 hours, or so. I like to give it a stir every now and then. The ideal scenario is meat that will fall apart when pressed with the back of a spoon.
Once cooking time is done stir in the apricots and put back in the oven for about another 30 minutes, or until the fruit is swollen and soft.
I like my stew to be rich and thick, but if you prefer stew of a thinner consistency add some more water when you add in the apricots.
Serve the stew with some buttery couscous and green beans.
I love stew, and find it so economical, let me know your favourite stew, I am always keen to try different recipes.
We are off to another pot luck dinner this weekend, it may seem like this is the only social activity in out lives, and in truth without the occasional pot luck dinner we may never leave the house! Now I must go and decide what to cook, we are watching the All Blacks play so I think a sporting theme may be in order.