Ingredients (Serves around 8-10 portions)
3 sticks of celery
1 large (or two small/medium) leeks
2 medium onions
Half a small swede (optional), peeled and diced
3 fresh or dried bay leaves
1kg quality diced stewing beef (I used beef shin – MUCH nicer)
2 x cans of Guinness or stout
2 x 400g Chopped Tomatoes
Beef stock cubes
3 or 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped in half
If using the oven to cook the stew, preheat it to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
Trim and roughly chop the celery, then peel and roughly chop the onions. Peel the carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop. Top and tail the leeks before slicing into 4 quarters long-ways, and chopping into 1cm pieces.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a casserole pan on a medium heat, add all the vegetables and the bay and fry for 10 minutes.
Add the beef and 1tbsp of flour, then pour in the booze and tomatoes, breaking them up with the back of a spoon. Give it a good stir, then season with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on the hob or place in the oven for 3 hours, or until the meat falls apart easily. Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking.
(Add the potatoes raw, to simmer gently, with around 45 minutes of the total time left.. if these are still hard then leave to simmer until soft).
After around 3 hours of total cooking, sieve in more flour until the thickness is as desired, and crumble in 3 or 4 beef stock cubes.
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add more stock/flour as appropriate.
Remove the bay leaves and serve with crusty bread.