Muffin-Topped Winter Beef Stew
Taken from the BBC Good Food website
Serves 2 adults & 2-3 children
500g braising steaks, cut into bite-sized chunks
2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with pepper and a little salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
450g carrots, cut into chunks
2 large parsnips, cut into chunks
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp sundried or regular tomato paste
300ml red wine or extra stock
450ml vegetable stock
For the topping
225g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
140g cheddar, coarsely grated
2 tbsp olive oil
- Heat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2.
- Toss the beef in seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Fry the beef over a high heat until browned all over – it’s easiest to do this in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add 2 tbsp water and the onion to the pan, stir well over a medium heat, scraping up the crusty bits from the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat and fry gently for 10 mins, stirring occasionally until the onions have softened.
- Tip in the carrots, parsnips and bay leaf, then fry for 2 mins more.
- Return the beef to the pan, stir in the tomato paste, wine if using, and stock, then bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 1¾-2 hrs until the meat is tender. Can be made up to 2 days ahead or frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost thoroughly in the fridge before topping and baking. Take out of the oven and increase the temperature to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5.
- To make the topping, sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add half the cheese. Mix olive oil and milk, then stir into the flour to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Add more milk, if necessary.
- Spoon the dough over the meat and vegetables, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake for about 15 mins until golden, risen and cooked through.