Beef stew is a favourite of mine on these cold days. Prep it in the late morning, stick on the pot around lunch time and after a cold day outside, it’s ready to go for the evening dinner. This is how I like to cook it.
Chop an onion. Fry it off with a little oil (or butter) in your stew pot,
Add a pinch of salt &/or garlic to flavour. Cook the onion until soft.
Add the diced beef to the pot and stir until all sides have browned up.
Then add water (or chicken stock if you’re super organised).
Chop up your root veg (carrots, parsnip, turnips) or whatever takes your fancy.
Add all these to the pot with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Bring the pot gradually to the boil and then reduce the heat down to a slower simmer.
Add a good dash of Worcestershire sauce.
Let the pot simmer for at least 3 hours.
30 minutes before serving, puree 2 potatoes in a little bit of water add this to the pot.
This stew will thicken your stew up beautifully.
Serve with floury boiled spuds and real butter
Our Blackthorn Beef
Our farm is a network of small grass fields surrounded by limestone walls and blackthorn bushes. Our cattle and sheep graze these fields from spring to autumn. Every spring the blackthorn bushes turn into a carpet of brilliant white flowers as they put on their annual show. This burst of flowers signals the start of mid-spring and the grazing season.
This week we let the cattle out to graze the fields again until autumn. The flowers will bloom in the coming weeks. The grass will grow. The bushes will feed the bees in spring. Birds will build their nests in the safety of them. Our cattle will use the bushes to shelter from summer showers. In the autumn the blackthorn fruit ‘the sloe’ will feed the small birds and prepare them for winter. The cattle will leave the fields for the winter, and the land will rest as will the blackthorn.
Then we will do it all again next year.
The Blackthorn bushes are a fundamental part of our farm and they give their name to our Blackthorn Beef.