Muffin-topped winter beef stew
Found on GoodFood.com.
Stew is one of those traditional cold-weather dinner ideas that became tradition for a reason. Thick, hearty and chock full of all the things your body needs to keep warm in the dropping temperatures. This recipe by Lesley Waters adds a fun twist – the muffin top!
For the stew
500 g braising steak, 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
450 g carrots, cut into chunks
2 large parsnip, cut into chunks
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp sun-dried or regular tomato paste
300 ml red wine or extra stock
450 ml vegetable stock
For the topping
225 g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
140 g cheddar, coarsely grated
2 tbsp olive oil
150 ml milk
Heat oven to 150°C. Toss the beef in seasoned flour. Heat the oil in a large oven-safe skillet. 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. Add carrots, parsnips and bay leaf, then fry for 2 mins. Return beef to pan, stir in the tomato paste, wine if using, and stock, then bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 1.75 – 2 hours until the meat is tender.
Sieve the flour and baking powder into a bowl and add half the cheese. Mix olive oil and milk. 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.