Thursday, September 27

My Mum's Beef & Heinz Tomato Soup Stew

This is a regression to childhood for me. Usually cooked midweek and then dipped into on regular occassion for a quick winter lunch or a hearty warming supper - it improves after a few days in the fridge. Pretty much a one pot wonder, you would not believe the amount of flavour you get from tinned must be Heniz though, no cheap 'value' or god forbid....packet soups please. Will feed 6 to 8:

Diced braising steak - 800g
Heinz tomato soup - 3x 400ml tins
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 parsnips, 4 carrots, 1 small swede - peeled and cut into large chunks
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
1 bay leaf
1 sprig of rosemary
100g beef suet
200g self raising flour

Fry the beef in a little oil until coloured all over. Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon, then fry the onion in the same pan until lightly golden. Chuck the meat and onion into a large oven dish or a slow cooker bowl and cover with 2 tins of the soup and the herbs. Bring gently to the boil on the hob, cover, then transfer to the oven (150c) or the slow cooker and simmer for an hour or so until the meat is beginning to soften but is in no way tender. Add all the veg and the last tin of soup along with a generous seasoning of salt and black pepper. Put back in the oven or slow cooker for another hour and a half or so until all the veg have become very soft - al dente veg doesn't work in this dish. If the stew needs more cooking then so be cannot rush a stew. If you feel the need to stir the stew during cooking, take care as you don't want to break up the veg or meat chunks.

To make the dumplings, mix the flour, suet, a pinch of salt and a little water to make a slightly sticky dough. Pinch bits off the dough (about the size of a gobstopper) and place on the top of the stew for the last half hour of cooking.  You will know when they are cooked as they will have doubled in size.

Remember to eat this dish like a child. Only a fork is required and mash the veg and meat into the soupy sauce before devouring. Bib is optional.

1 comment:

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Steve, it *looks* lovely, but I just can't imagine the tinned soup! Guess I'll have to try it to believe it! I've posted two stews, my version of Julia Child's boeuf bourguignon and my family stew. I think stew is one of those things that revives family memories like no other. And you're so right, it only gets better over a few days in the fridge.