Beef & chestnut mushrooms hotpot

This is the time of year where we really turn towards comfort food – and what better choice than a tasty, warm stew 

 

Serves four to six

25g (1oz) butter

2 tbsp Rapeseed oil

350g (12oz) small shallots, peeled

100g (4oz) pancetta or rindless streaky bacon, cut into small thin lardons

650g (2oz) seasoned flour

1 bottle red Burgundy red wine

150ml (1/4 pint) beef stock

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

225g (8oz) small chestnut mush

675g (1 1/2lb) chuck steak, cut into bite-sized pieces

50g (2oz) seasoned flour

1 bottle red Burgundy red wine

150ml (1/4 pint) beef stock

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery sticks, chopped

2 bay leaves

2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

225g (8oz) small chestnut mushrooms, trimmed

2 tbsp brandy

1kg (2 1/2lb) potatoes, peeled (similar size)

25g (1oz) butter, melted

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 170oC, (325F/gas mark 3). Heat half of the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots and fry until they are just beginning to brown, then tip in the pancetta and fry until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.

2 Place the beef pieces in a polythene bag with the seasoned flour. Shake until well coated, then remove, shaking off any excess. Add to the frying pan and fry until lightly golden on all sides. Transfer to a casserole dish with a lid.

3 Add a little of the red wine to the frying pan and, scraping the bottom to remove any sediment, pour in on top of the beef with the rest of the red wine, the stock, carrots, celery, bay leaves and thyme. Add the sautéed shallots and pancetta and season to taste. Stir to combine, then cover and place in the oven for two hours or until the meat is tender but still holding its shape.

4 Halfway through cooking, heat the remaining oil and butter in a large pan and cook the mushrooms until just tender and lightly browned, stirring.  Add the brandy and cook for another few minutes, then stir into the casserole dish and return to the oven for the remaining cooking time. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and settle.

5 Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water for 10 minutes, then drain and leave until cool enough to handle. Cut into 1cm (½in) slices and arrange a nice overlapping layer on top of the stew. Brush with the melted butter and season lightly with salt and pepper.

6 Cook in the oven for about 40 minutes until bubbling and golden brown in colour. Serve straight to the table. CL

other few minutes, then stir into the casserole dish and return to the oven for the remaining cooking time. Remove from the oven and leave to cool and settle.

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