The deliciously dark and hearty beef and onion stew makes the perfect winter-warmer, served with buttery mash and steamed greens.
Put the arrowroot in a mixing bowl, season generously with salt and pepper and drop in the beef; toss to coat.
Heat a 4- 5 litre capacity casserole pot over medium-high heat and add ghee
Add as much beef as you can without crowding them, first shaking off excess flour (the beef will stew and not brown if the pot is too crowded). Cook, seasoning each batch with salt and pepper, until browned on all sides. The pieces should release easily from the bottom of the pot. As the meat is browned, transfer it to a separate bowl
If the oil in the pot has burned, wipe out the pot, leaving whatever solids (browned bits) have stuck to the bottom of the pot
Toss the bacon into the pot and cook, stirring, until it has browned and its fat has rendered; transfer to the bowl with the beef.
Add the butter to the pot along with the onions and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper; reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelised. Be patient; this can take at least 30 minutes
While the onions are caramelising, preheat the oven to 150°C
Spoon the meat, bacon and whatever juices may have accumulated in the bowl back into the casserole. Add the Guinness, broth, maple syrup, vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, allspice, cloves, thyme and bay leaves; increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Taste for salt and pepper, adding more as needed. Cover the with its lid and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 2½ - 3 hours or until the meat is tender enough to cut with a spoon. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaves
When you're ready to serve, sprinkle the stew with the chopped herbs. Serve with buttery mashed potato and steamed greense.
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