Slow Sunday with braised beef stew


Sundays are meant to be slow. So I think it's time to bust out one of my favourite things to make and eat on a Sunday afternoon, braised beef stew. This is full of protein, vegetables, a little fat and a bit of carbs from the potato. Serve this with a baby spinach salad and you have a very complete meal. Just watch the portion size of the stew so you don't overdo it. Eat as much salad as you want. It's yummy.

Note: To make this recipe you need a large cast iron dutch oven. It is expensive and really really heavy. But you need one to make braised dishes properly so it's a good investment.

The recipe is rather long so bear with me. Let's get busy

Step 1: Prep the beef for braising

  • 1kg of beef (such as chuck, brisket or round)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Dry rub the salt and freshly ground black pepper into the beef to season and set aside for at least 30 min to allow the seasoning to soak in. In the meantime preheat the oven to 140° C. While waiting, move onto the next step.

Step 2: Prep the Mise en Place

  • 3 medium onions cut into large pieces
  • 6 cloves of garlic cut in half
  • 4 stalks of celery cut into large pieces
  • 4 carrots peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 300gm long beans prepped
  • 1kg small washed potatoes skin on

Feel free to add more veggies, just remember the size of your dutch oven. Set all washed and prepped ingredients aside till you need them.

Step 3: Getting the braise on

  • 1 small can of whole tomatoes with juice
  • 500ml of beef stock (homemade is best)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 0r 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 or 3 stalks fresh rosemary
  • freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat the dutch oven on the stove top at maximum heat. Add butter or olive oil
  2. Sear the beef on all sides making sure it is nice and brown. remove and set aside
  3. Add more fat if needed and sauté the mirepoix (carrots, onions and celery and garlic cloves.
  4. Add a splash of red wine or apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan, using a wooden scraper to scrape all the flavour bits off the pan.
  5. Add the beef stock,canned tomatoes and herbs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to create a rich stock. (depending on how much liquid you have you need to reduce so that the beef is not covered when you add it to the pot)
  6. Cut the seared beef into big chunks and add back to the dutch oven making sure to add all the juices that escape during resting.
  7. Layer potatoes and green beans (and any other vegetables on top of the beef and cover tightly.
  8. Place the dutch in the oven (already preheated to 140° C) and slowly cook for 2 hours (approximately). Open the pot after about 1.5 hours to assess the doneness of the meat and potatoes. optional at this time is to throw in a handful of fresh herbs and some delicate veggies that don' require a lot of cooking)
  9. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 - 20 minutes
  10. Gently stir to mix up the ingredients 

Important notes:

  • When braising the meat should never be entirely covered by the liquid (otherwise it is referred to as boiling)
  • the temperature need to be low (recommended between 135-160)
  • Always sear meat,sauté the mirepoix and deglaze. in that order.

Whew! See I told you that was long. To make this you need at least 4 hours, which is why I like to do this on a slow, lazy Sunday afternoon. Don't forget to eat a salad with this. Hahaha.

Hit me up if you try this recipe. Or have your own points to add. Or hate it. I don't know. Feel free to comment, share or get in touch with me on social media. Cheers.