Jamie Oliver’s Wife’s Favorite Beef Stew

by Hilary Gauntt on January 16, 2018

Jamie is one of my culinary heroes. As busy as he was running restaurants all over the world, writing cookbooks, and starring in television shows; he took on the challenge of improving England’s school lunches. Then left his young family for months to come to West Virginia and take on ours, not receiving the warmest welcome from a state with one of the highest rates of obesity. He started cooking at age 8 in his parents pub.

In his book “Jamie’s Dinners” he introduces this recipe by saying his wife Jools “goes mad for this stew in the colder months of the year, and the kids love it too.” It has lots of interesting root vegetables like parsnips and butternut squash (I skipped the Jerusalem artichoke because it was hard to find and I read in Wikipedia that it could cause (ahem) “digestive problems”). He cooks this for 3 or more hours in the oven, but no doubt it would be great in the slow cooker or Instapot as well.

I loved that he experimented with two batches of meat; browning one and putting the other straight into the pot. He noted that even though it went against all his training, he couldn’t deny the latter was sweeter and cleaner tasting so now he’s stopped browning the meat for most of his stews. One step you shouldn’t skip however is the garnish of lemon zest, garlic, and rosemary you sprinkle over the stew just before eating. Jamie notes ” Just the smallest amount will make a world of difference -as soon as it hits the hot stew it will release an amazing fragrance.” As with most stews, we found this even more delicious the second day.

olive oil

a knob of butter (love that!)

1 onion, peeled and chopped

a handful of fresh sage leaves

1 3/4 stewing steak or beef skirt, cut into 2″ pieces

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

flour, to dust

2 parsnips, peeled and quartered

4 carrots, peeled and halved

1/2 a butternut squash, halved, deseeded, and roughly diced

optional: a handful of Jerusalem artichokes; peeled and halved

1 lb. small potatoes

2 Tbs. tomato puree

1/2 bottle of red wine

1 1/4 cups beef or vegetable stock

zest of 1 lemon, finely grated

a handful of rosemary, leaves picked

1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Put a little oil and your knob of butter into an appropriately sized pot or casserole pan. Add your onion and all the sage leaves and fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan with all the vegetables, the tomato puree,, wine and stock, and gently stir together. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and just a little salt.Bring to the boil, place a lid on top, then cook in the preheated oven until the meat is tender. Sometimes this takes 3 hours, sometimes 4- it depends on what cut of meat you’re using and how fresh it is. Once it’s cooked, you can turn the oven down to about 225 degrees and just hold it there until you’re ready to eat.

Mix the lemon zest, chopped rosemary and garlic together and sprinkle a bit over the stew before eating.
Serves 4
Note: I think my carrots and other vegetables are larger than his, so I cut them in smaller pieces.

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