Pepperpot Beef Stew

pepperpot beef

Pepperpot Beef Stew

Perfect for a cosy night in without any fuss!

My mum used to cook this for me all the time as it was one of my favourites. It’s one of those dishes you totally forget about and then, when you cook again, you can’t understand why you don’t do it more. For this dish you can use pretty much any cheap cut of beef: brisket, chuck, shin or just braising steak. The fact that it has loads of kidney beans mean you can get away with buying less meat if you’re on a bit of a tight budget and, served with a jacket potato, it makes a fantastic lunch the next day.

Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking 2 hours
Serves 6

 Method

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
700g diced beef (use shin, brisket, chuck or braising steak)
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 red onion, peeled and finely sliced
100mls water or beef stock
2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon chilli powder or paprika
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 red peppers, deseeded and sliced
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar (or any sugar)
2 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (white wine or cider vinegar will also work)

Preheat the oven to160ºC if oven cooking. Place a heavy-based casserole dish on the stove and add the oil.

While the pan is heating up over a high heat, put the diced beef into a bowl with the flour and coat it well in the flour. Gently lay the meat into the hot oil and frying in batches until all the meat is golden brown.  4 minutes per side should do it.  If cooking in batches, remove the first lot before doing the next.

Turn down the heat to medium and add all the meat back into the pan and add the onion and garlic and cook for 10 minutes. Coat the onion in all the juices in the bottom of your pan and add 100mls of water or beef stock.  Scrape the bottom of the pan as the water boils to try to release some of that lovely flavour from sealing the meat.

Now add the ginger and chilli powder or paprika, season with salt and pepper, then add the peppers, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, sweet chilli, chopped tomatoes, kidney beans and vinegar. Bring the stew to the boil, place on a lid and cook in the preheated oven for 11/2 hours. (You can also cook it on the top of the stove over a very low heat which will take around about the same time, just make sure you stir it every half an hour or so to prevent it from burning.

Add a little more water if you think its getting a bit dry.  The beef should be seriously tender when the stew is ready and the sauce will be thick and sticky.
Serve with a crispy-skinned jacket potato and lots of sour cream.

TIP

If you have a slow cooker, simply throw all the ingredients into it in the morning and leave it to cook for 8 hours. It will be perfectly tender by the time you return from work. This also makes a brilliant vegetarian dish if you substitute another can of pulses for the beef – I like chickpeas or butter beans. I often add mushrooms to this dish if I have some in the fridge that need using up. Try it – they are a lovely addition.

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