Jamie Oliver's Basic Stew
Straight-Up Comfort Food
You are going to love this slow-cooked stew recipe, because it's so simple and gives consistently good results. Try each of the different options below. It's a good idea to stick to the meat and booze combinations I've given you, but if you want to pick and mix the herbage feel free! For each of the four options below the meat should be cut into approximately 3/4-inch cubes. Package from most grocery stores are often about that size.
In stew recipes you're often told to brown off the meat first. But I've done loads of tests and found the meat is just as delicious and tender without browning it first, so I've removed this usual stage from these recipes.
If using the oven to cook your stew, preheat it to 350°F. Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the stalks. Peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel the carrots, slice lengthways, and roughly chop. Put a Dutch oven on a medium heat. Put all the vegetables and your chosen herb into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes. Add you meat and flour. Pour in the booze and canned tomatoes. Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil, put the lid on, and either simmer slowly on your cooktop or cook in an oven for the times shown above. Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking and add a splash of water if it looks a bit dry. When done, your meat should be tender and delicious. Remove any bay leaves or herb stalks before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper.
*Recipe courtesy of Jamie Oliver from Jamie's Food Revolution; Hyperion, 2009.