Prep = 15mins

Cooking Time = 3-4hrs

Serves 4-5 people

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 really big carrots, halved lengthways then very chunkily sliced
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs, 1 whole and 1 leaves picked
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 850g stewing beef (blade steak or brisket works nicely), cut into nice large chunks

COOKING METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and put the kettle on.

  2. Put 2 thickly sliced celery sticks, 1 chopped onion, 2 chunkily sliced carrots, 5 bay leaves and 1 whole thyme sprig in a flameproof casserole dish with 1 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 tbsp butter.

  3. Soften for 10 mins, then stir in 2 tbsp plain flour until it doesn’t look dusty anymore, followed by 2 tbsp tomato purée, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce and 2 crumbled beef stock cubes.

  4. Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in 850g stewing beef and bring to a gentle simmer.

  5. Cover and put in the oven for 2hrs 30 mins, then uncover and cook for 30mins – 1hr more until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thickened.

  6. Garnish with the picked leaves of the remaining thyme sprig.