A real winter warmer

This big hearty stew will fill you up and keep you cozy for a long time. The very essence of comfort food. When we were kids it would always be on the stove waiting for us when we came home after sledging. When it was -13’c the night before and didn’t even get close to zero through the day this is just what you want for tea!

800g Stewing steak. Anything with a little fat is good. The butcher fixed me up with some beef hough which was really cheap and tasted great.
2 Smoked pork ribs, if you can’t get hold of them 3 Rashers of smoked bacon will do the job
4 Carrots, peeled
2 Celery sticks
4 Shallots
1 Beef stock cube
300ml Red wine
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Mustard
1 pint Water
1 Bay leaf
3 sprigs Thyme

Cut the steak and vegetables into large pieces, roughly 1 inch cubes. Throw everything into a large lidded pan, bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer for 2-3 hours. Half an hour before you’re ready to eat mix 25g butter with 1 tbsp flour, add 2-3tbsp of the liquid from the stew and mix until you have a smooth emulsion. Pop it into the stew and stir well. Remove the ribs before serving (they’re a bit of a prize in our house) and dish up with heaps of mashed potato.

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