So, April’s an in-between and slightly confused time in London (weather-wise, that is). It is spring but it can be decidedly chilly, even when it’s lovely and sunny. I love this time of year as there’s an optimism, excitement even, about the coming of summer, and lots of beautiful daffodils and tulips everywhere. Plus the days are getting longer and lighter. All this really does affect your cooking choices.
We did manage our first (London) braai (barbecue) of the year on Thursday night at a neighbour’s house, but really the only thing that spent any time outside was the barbecue. Think alfresco may have to go on hold for a bit longer. So when it came to deciding on Good Friday’s dinner we set on a wonderfully satisfying, luscious Goulash. Back to more wintery comfort food for now!
This recipe is wonderfully simple and produced one of the nicest stews I’ve made in years. As you will see, there are not many ingredients but the combination of them creates something really wow!
I bought my beef from the local supermarket which has recently been refurbished and now has a wonderful fresh meat counter. I asked the butcher’s advice on what cut of beef to use and he recommended the shin. It’s not expensive, as beef goes, so I took his advice. I chopped it into fairly large chunks. Well, it’s shin of beef all the way for me now! It is so flavoursome and came out beautifully tender after a couple of hours of cooking.
2lb shin of beef, cubed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 tbsp paprika
400g fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
600ml beef stock
2 tsp dried thyme
Brown the meat in the oil in a flameproof casserole dish.
Lower the heat and fry the onion and red pepper in the fat left in the casserole.
When they are softened, sprinkle in the flour and paprika and cook, stirring, for a minute.
Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to simmering point, stirring all the time.
Put the meat back in the casserole and add the thyme.
Cover and cook in the oven at about 160C for at least two hours, checking after an hour that it’s not getting too dry or sticking.
Serve with the vegetables of your choice. Peas and mashed potato work well.
Or serve with fresh ciabatta for dunking into the velvety sauce.
What’s your favourite stew? I’m always looking out for new recipes, so do share if you’ve got something special.