For Christmas, the LO received a cooking set including all the things she might need in the kitchen! It wasn’t a shop bought one, but one put together from various places that combined baking equipment, such as bun cases and mixing bowls, with savoury meal needs, like a chopping board or small saucepan. It is something we use together at least once a week, whether to make Mini-slider burgers, tiffin, or something more adventurous, like this Ella’s Kitchen cookbook Beef stew. It appeals to the LOs as it’s filled with sweet fruit and vegetables, but makes a brilliant family meal everyone can enjoy. We served ours with Yorkshire puddings, greens, and mustard mash.
For very little ones, it does involve much chopping of hard vegetables, but I still involved Frankie by asking her to find the right vegetables, count out the carrots, pop the pieces into the bowl after chopping, etc. And she enjoyed stirring everything together too. You could even put aside a little of everything for the LOs to ‘play’ with while you’re doing all the hard work, and if they munch on a little piece of raw carrot, so much the better! When it comes to spooning out the plum jam, I used jelly as we had some leftover from the last batch, it’s easy to get them involved again.
Ella’s Kitchen – Wonderfully Warming Fruit Beef Stew
2 tbs olive oil
750g diced stewing beef
300g carrots, sliced
2 plums or apricots, stoned nad sliced
1 clove garlic
1tbs tomato puree
2 tbs plain flour
finely grated rind of 1 lemon, plus 1tbs of the juice
750ml beef stock
150g plum or damson jam
ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 160 degrees. In a large casserole, batch fry the beef in the oil until browned on all sides. Remove.
Cook onion in the same casserole for 2 minutes until softened. Add carrots, plums or apricots, garlic, tomato puree and flour, and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Return the beef and juices to the casserole, add the lemon rind and juice, beef stock, and jam. Season with the pepper and simmer.
Cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours until the beef is tender.
I used a ‘pre-chopped’ pack of stewing beef, but it was still dry when cooked because it had no fat on it. Next time, I will definitely buy a cheap cut of beef and chop it myself and it’s the melting fat that helps keep the beef pieces moist and fall apart wen cooked.
I apologise for the pictures on this post, but we’d already dug in to the meal before I remembered!
This recipe is taken from ‘Ella’s Kitchen. The Cook Book, The Red One.