It's been awfully cold in Sydney and there's nothing like eating comfort food to make the freezing weather bearable. Here is a recipe for the ultimate winter warmer, my slow cooked beef stew served on potato gnocchi. It's delicious! Serves 4.
What you need
600 grams of casserole beef. You can use diced beef if you like but casserole beef slow cooks beautifully, so the meat literally melts in your mouth. 150 grams of button mushrooms (chop the bigger ones but if they're small, leave them whole)
1 bay leaf 1 large jar of Passata (This isn't pasta sauce. It's pureed tomatoes)
- 1 tin of crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup of Port wine
- 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
- Sea salt
- 2 packets of potato gnocchi (enough to serve 4)
Pre heat oven 180°C.
In a large pot (ensure this pot can be used on the stove and in the oven. I use a Cast Iron pot) bring olive oil to heat and add onion. When onion is slightly browned, add the beef, sprinkle some sea salt over the beef.
When the beef is half cooked through, add the Port and bay leaf to the pot, then stir through. Add chopped vegetables and stir thoroughly to ensure they cook evenly.
Once the vegetables are slightly softened, add the crushed tomatoes, stir and then add the Passata. Let this simmer for a few minutes. If you find that the liquid doesn't cover the ingredients, you can add some water mixed with tomato paste. Add some salt.
Cover the pot with foil and place in the oven. Cook at 180°C for one hour and then reduce heat to 150°C for another hour. The exact cooking time will depend on your oven. You can take it out at the hour mark and stir it and even have a taste to make sure it's cooking nicely.
After the stew has been cooking for two hours, boil some water in a separate pot and cook the gnocchi (see cooking instructions on gnocchi packet as they may vary)
Serve stew on top of the gnocci and enjoy with some crusty loaf bread.
Note: You can cook the stew for longer on a lower heat. Be sure to check on it every hour or so.