Versatile beef stew

Versatile beef stew

Master this beef stew and stash a few portions in the freezer for a delicious meal anytime. You could also use a slow cooker to make it, if you like
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Season the beef generously and toss in the flour. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large flameproof casserole over a medium-high heat. Cook the beef in two or three batches for about 6-8 mins each, so as not to overcrowd the pan, until browned on all sides. Add a little more oil if it starts to catch. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Step 2

    Reduce the heat. If the pan is dry, add a little more oil. Cook the onions, celery and carrots for 5 mins. Add the bay, thyme and wine (or use water), and simmer for 2-3 mins, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the tomato purée and Worcestershire sauce, and cook for another minute.
  3. Step 3

    If you want to make this in a slow cooker, transfer everything from the pan to the slow cooker. Add the beef along with the stock cube and 400ml water, or pour in the fresh stock, and cook on low for 6-8 hrs until the beef is tender. If cooking on the hob, return the beef to the pan, crumble in the stock cube and add 600ml water or the fresh stock. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for 3 hrs, topping up with a splash of water as needed if the stew is reducing quickly.
  4. Step 4

    Remove the lid and cook for another 30 mins to reduce the liquid. If it’s not tender after this time, add a splash more water, cover and cook for another 30 mins, then check it again. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, then enjoy with mash and green veg, or cool and freeze for another day. Will keep chilled for three days or frozen for three months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, then reheat until piping hot.