Beef Stew with Pickled Onion

Cook time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1.5 kg whole pieces of beef chuck, cut into 5cm pieces

3 tbsp plain flour

120g speck or pancetta, cut into lardons

2 large red onions, sliced

2 large carrots, cut into 1 cm rounds

4 garlic cloves, chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 bouquet garni (1 bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs & 3 flat-leaf parsley sprigs tied together with kitchen string)

350ml red wine

350ml Pedro Ximenez (Sherry)

4cm strip of orange zest

1-litre beef stock

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

1 tbsp caster sugar

Salt & pepper

Creamy mashed potato, to serve

Beef Stew with Pickled Onion

Method

Place half of the sliced onions into a bowl and add vinegar, a pinch of salt and caster sugar. Bruise with your hands to combine and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Heat the oil in a deep ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat. Dust the chuck beef in a little flour then sear on all sides. Remove and add the remaining onion, speck or pancetta, carrots and garlic and cook to soften and colour lightly. Season with salt and pepper. Return the beef and add the bouquet garni, orange zest and tomato paste. Mix to coat everything in the paste. Add the wine and sherry and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Add the stock, place a cartouche (a piece of baking paper cut to the size of the pan) on top and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Transfer to the oven and cook for 1½-2 hours or until the meat is very tender and almost falls apart.

Use a slotted spoon to remove meat and vegetables and place in a shallow platter and cover with foil. Transfer the pan to the stovetop and, over medium heat, simmer for 25–30 minutes until the sauce is reduced by at least a third or until glossy and slightly thicker. Pour sauce over the meat and garnish with pickled onion.