supergolden bakes

Friday, 2 October 2015

Provençal Beef Daube Stew with Celeriac Mash

Provençal Beef Daube Stew with Celeriac Mash
I grew up Greece with a mother as obsessed with cooking and food as I am now. She was (and is) a fantastic home cook able to whip up an impressive dinner out of whatever was seasonally available. But rather than stick to the many wonderful traditional Greek recipes, she had a library full of cookbooks from all over the world and would take inspiration from French, American and English recipes. This Provençal Beef Daube was a regular feature during the Autumn months, a wonderfully warming stew full of flavour.

I have carried on the tradition of cooking food from all over the world, mixing up flavours and stealing ideas from cookbooks in magpie like fashion. This stew has not changed much since my childhood however, except I add whatever vegetables I have to hand. The one essential in this recipe is prunes – they add a real depth of flavour and sweetness to the dish. I also threw in chestnuts, parsnips and a little apple and serve it with celeriac mash. Celeriac is a bit of an ugly beast, but it makes a velvety mash that's got a lot more character, and fewer calories, than potatoes.

I guarantee this is a dish you will fall in love with and make again and again. Like most stews, all the hard work is done by your oven while you sit back with a glass of red wine and enjoy the wonderful fragrance of the stew... I am positive this can be made in a slow cooker as well – will make sure to update the recipe once I test it out in mine.

Provençal Beef Daube Stew with Celeriac Mash

Provençal Beef Daube
Prep 25 mins | Cook about 2 hours | Serves 4 
900g | 2lb beef shin, cut into cubes
4 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
600ml | 2 cups hot beef stock
170ml | 3/4 cup red wine
100g | 3.5oz pitted prunes
4 carrots, peeled and sliced into sticks
4 banana shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves, sliced thinly
2 large parsnips, peeled and sliced into sticks
1 small apple, peeled and cubed (optional)
handful cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
peel from one orange
salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil as needed, to fry
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped, to serve

For the celeriac mash
1 large celeriac, peeled and cubed
1 large parsnip, peeled and cubes
2 garlic cloves, peeled
double cream, as needed
1 tbsp butter
salt and freshly ground pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C (320F).
  2. Put the flour on a large plate and season liberally with salt and pepper. Toss the beef cubes in the flour until they are lightly coated.
  3. Add a good splash of oil in a large casserole dish and brown the beef cubes over medium high heat. Don't crowd the beef in the pan as it will steam rather than brown. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add a splash of stock to the pan and scrape any sticky flour/beef bits with a wooden spoon. 
  5. Add the chopped shallots, and a splash more oil if needed, and cook for 4-5 minutes.
  6. Add the prunes, carrots, parsnips, garlic, apple, chestnuts and bay leaves and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, adding stock if the pan is dry.
  7. Stir in the tomato paste, vinegar and orange peel. Add the beef and pour in the stock and wine. 
  8. Bring to the boil, cover the casserole and put in the oven for 1 1/2 –2  hours. 
  9. Remove from the oven, check the seasoning and remove the bay leaves.
  10. While the stew is cooking, make the mash. Put the celeriac, parsnip and garlic in a pot, and pour in enough water to cover the vegetables.
  11. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked through. 
  12. Drain and put the vegetables in a Vitamix or food processor together with the butter and a good glug of double cream. Blitz until smooth, adding a little more cream if the mash is too thick. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Divide the mash between your plates and top with the stew. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Provençal Beef Daube Stew with Celeriac Mash

Provençal Beef Daube Stew with Celeriac Mash

Share your Autumn Warmers for a chance to win prizes.  For more recipe inspiration visit Waitrose. This post was sponsored by Waitrose.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Vietnamese Beef Pot Pies

Vietnamese Beef Pot Pies

I have a bone to pick with the universe. Specifically the time it takes earth to rotate on its axis. Hey earth, pick a more leisurely pace will ya? I would be happy with a 72 hour rotation. It might just give me enough time to catch up with all the millions of projects I am in the middle of, not to mention work, freelance work and just plain living as well. 24 hours is never enough time and stuff falls by the wayside. Like cleaning the house for example. Or dealing with the laundry – never mind folding it and putting it away (I must admit even 72 hour days would not be enough for that!).

I am going to be at Food Blogger Connect for three days as of tomorrow (YAY!!!) and as a result all my work and the blog is going to have to take a back seat while I drink lots of tequila studiously take notes and catch up with many blogger friends. I didn't want to just leave the poor blog without a new post though so I have decided to post this recipe for Vietnamese Beef Pot Pies. I wasn't planning to blog this as I really had no time to take good photos (damn the lack of light – who do I blame for that? It's both the sun AND the earth isn't it). But on the other hand these were so delicious that they deserve their spot on here.

Essentially these are a simplified version of my most popular recipe – One Pot Vietnamese Pot Stew. Never in a million years did I imagine that this recipe would become so hugely popular, but it has taken a life of its own on Pinterest and has garnered the most enthusiastic comments from readers around the world. This time I made the stew in the slow cooker overnight and made the pot pies the following day using store bought puff pastry. These pot pies are just the perfect comfort food – crisp pastry encasing the aromatic and warming stew, delicious beyond belief.

Vietnamese Beef Pot Pies

Vietnamese Beef Pot Pies
Makes 4 -5(depending on size)
500g (just over 1lb) beef shin, cut into cubes
450ml | 2 cups hot beef stock
450g | 1lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, peeled and cubed
4 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 banana shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp plain flour
2 green chillies, finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 star anise
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1 tsp ground pepper
1 cinnamon stick
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp cornflour dissolved in a little cold water
1 packet ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten

  1. Put the flour into a shallow plate and season with salt and pepper. Toss the beef in the flour to coat it. Set aside.
  2. Add the shallots, garlic, carrots, squash, tomatoes and chilli in the container of your slow cooker. 
  3. Mix the stock with the tomato paste, soy sauce, sugar and all the spices. Pour over the vegetables.
  4. Add the beef and stir briefly. Cook on high for 3 hours on until the squash is cooked through. 
  5. Stir in the cornflour and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until the juices have thickened slightly. Cool the stew before using in the pot pies, otherwise the puff pastry will melt.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C | 400F.
  7. Take 4 small ramekins – about 10cm (4in) wide and 5cm (2in) deep – and fill with the stew almost to the top.
  8. Cut 4 rounds of puff pastry that are slightly larger than the size of your ramekins. 
  9. Brush the rims of the dishes with a little beaten egg, and cover with the puff pastry. Press the edges lightly to seal. Cut a small hole at the centre of each pot pie to allow steam to escape.
  10. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and place on a heavy baking tray.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving with some steamed vegetables on the side.
Notes: Keep the pastry in the fridge until you need it and try using all butter puff pastry. If you want to make a homemade pastry topping, this recipe never fails me.