If you make this recipe your baby will end up looking like this
Rufus loves stew. As a rule I never used to eat them. Then it started snowing and I dug out the le creuset and felt the need for something warming. It is a Jamie Oliver recipe in truth - I find that a lot of his recipes can be adapted - just take out the salt and make the bits easy for small paws to grasp. In order not to be "done" for infringing copyright laws here is a link to Mr Oliver's website and a big plug for all of his books - they are marvellous. Other recipes will be all my own work - I promise. This is just Rufus' favourite - besides eggy bread (or French Toast if you're being all American and posh).
One quick word - I am happy to use wine in cooking for Rufus - the alcohol cooks off and that just leaves flavour. If you read the Daily Mail and would like to comment on this feel free. If you write for the Mail and would like to do an article on the state of motherhood today feel free to quote me as a lush.
Now to the stew - there is no pic for this - it looks like a stew. It tastes good. It's from the Jamie's Dinners book.
• olive oil and a knob of butter for good measure
• 1 onion, peeled and chopped
• a handful of fresh sage leaves (I didn’t have sage so I used thyme instead and it worked well)
• 800g/1¾lb stewing steak or beef skirt, cut into 5cm/2 inch pieces
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (can leave salt out)
• flour, to dust
• 2 parsnips, peeled and quartered
• 4 carrots, peeled and halved
• ½ a butternut squash, halved, deseeded and roughly diced
• 500g/1lb 2oz small potatoes
• 2 tablespoons tomato purée
• ½ a bottle of red wine
* 285ml/½ pint beef or vegetable stock (use baby stock if you are a true salt nazi)
Preheat the oven to 160ºC/300ºF/gas 2. Put a little oil and your knob of butter into an appropriately sized pot or casserole pan. Add your onion and all the sage leaves and fry for 3 or 4 minutes. Toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan with all the vegetables, the tomato purée, wine and stock, and gently stir together. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper and just a little salt. Bring to the boil, place a lid on top, then cook in the preheated oven until the meat is tender. Sometimes this takes 3 hours, sometimes 4 – it depends on what cut of meat you’re using and how fresh it is. The only way to test is to mash up a piece of meat and if it falls apart easily it’s ready. Once it’s cooked, you can turn the oven down to about 110°C/225°F/gas ¼ and just hold it there until you’re ready to eat.
I left the veg fairly chunky and Rufus just helps himself to chunks of carrot etc – I always give him bits of beef too but he tends not to pick them up so I pop little bits in his mouth if he’s in the right mood. often he chews them for a while and then spits it out because I think even meat this tender is hard to keep chewing with no teeth. It’s great re heated too. I made the whole lot and froze half and it’s fine once frozen too.