This is a rich and comforting stew that is smart enough to serve for a dinner party. I like to serve it with mashed potatoes or my potatoes dauphinoise and a green vegetable.
2kg/4lb 8oz shin of beef
50g/1¾oz plain flour
6 tbsp vegetable oil
10 small shallots, peeled
6 sticks celery, roughly sliced
8 carrots, roughly chopped
25g/1oz dried wild porcini mushrooms
600ml/1 pint red wine or stout
300ml/½ pint beef stock
3 sprigs thyme
500g/1lb 2oz button mushrooms
2 tbsp redcurrant jelly
mash, to serve
Cut the beef into 2.5cm/1in chunks and trim off any excess fat. Place the flour on a plate or in a plastic bag with plenty of salt and black pepper and toss the meat in it until well coated.
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole and add the beef. Fry until browned on all sides - you may need to do this in batches, as you don’t want to over-crowd the pan. It is important to brown the beef and not stew it.
Remove the meat from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the shallots, celery and carrots to the pan and fry for five minutes, or until softened a little.
Meanwhile, soak the mushrooms in a bowl in 300ml/½ pint boiling water until softened. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid and chop the mushrooms into smaller pieces.
Return the meat to the pan and add the red wine or stout. Bring to the boil for 4-5 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced by about a third. Add the stock,soaked mushrooms and their soaking liquid and the thyme.
Bring to the boil and then cover and simmer on a low heat for about 2½ hours, or until tender. If you prefer you can cook it in a preheated oven at 150C/300F/Gas 3 (130 fan) for the same time.
Add the button mushrooms and the redcurrant jelly and cook for a further 30 minutes. Serve with mash.
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