Thanksgiving is over, the air is frosty, the Christmas lights are on, the night is dark (and full of terrors)… I’m feeling FESTIVE.
And for me, feeling festive is all about pretty lights, cosy jumpers, good company, and grrrrrreat food.
Enter my very festive Beef and Mulled Wine Stew!
Tender chunks of beef, slow-cooked until they fall apart at the slightest touch of a spoon, and swimming in a rich tomato-based gravy, flavoured with German mulled wine, and spiced with cinnamon, ginger and allspice.
It’s making me hungry thinking about it.
As per my usual cooking style, it’s incredibly easy to make. I personally use an electric slow cooker, but you could quite easily make it in an oven as well. Just use an oven-proof dish with a lid, cook it at about 170 degrees (celsius, fan-assisted) and reduce the cooking time to 2-3 hours.
I love making this on a Sunday, throwing the ingredients in the pot in the morning, then leaving it to do its thing for hours on end. It makes the flat smell amazing!
Then I light the candles, turn on the fairy lights, slip into my cosy Boohoo Christmas jumper*, and serve up the stew with a glass of red wine and some garlicky steamed greens…
1. Heat a bit of oil in a frying pan, then brown the beef quickly, to seal in the juices. Tip the meat it into your slow cooker pot.
2. Throw the onions into the same frying pan you used for the beef, and cook for about 2 minutes, then add the garlic, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the onions are soft and the garlic smells awesome. Tip that all into the slow cooker as well.
3. Sift the flour into the pot, over the beef and onions. (Sifting it will help it not clump!). Add the tin of chopped tomatoes, then use the empty tin to measure out your mulled wine, and pour that in as well.
4. Throw in the herbs, spices, and Worcestershire sauce. Crumble over the beef stock cube, and give the whole pot a good stir.
5. Turn the slow cooker on to HIGH and let it cook for 1 hour, then turn it down to LOW, and let it cook for another 6-8 hours.
6. Serve in a bowl with some steamed spinach and a spoon. It would also be lovely poured over mashed potato!