Warming comfort food for a rainy Autumn Sunday
Saturday morning I visited my local Farmers Market (Brockley Market in SE London) with the aim of buying as much good quality meat as possible for my freezer! I don’t have a good butchers near my office (or one open near my home by the time I get home from work) and I’m getting a bit bored of scouring the supermarket shelves for good quality meat, which is actually always far too expensive and not that great. I’ve been buying chicken from Marsh Produce (based in Kent) from Brockley for a while now, and on this particular visit a pack of chuck steak also caught my eye. I’m not sure why, cos at that point I wasn’t even sure where the chuck is on a cow! Thanks to the internet I now do. Imagining that it was probably a bit like braising steak (well done Ceri – you were right it’s just a different name for it) I thought I’d get it for a Sunday stew cook up, and that is indeed what I did with it.
Chuck steak tastes great when it’s been left for hours to cook, and that’s not something I have time for in the week. If only I had a slow cooker, which could do its work all day while I’m out earning a living (on the current kitchen equipment wish list). Since cumin is my favourite spice at the moment, that was my inspiration for the flavour base, along with the parsley pot that is currently trying not to die on my kitchen windowsill….
Cooked slowly over nearly 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon, while I’ve been tapping away at the blog. Good stuff.
- Olive oil
- 350g Chuck beef steak
- 3 garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper
- 0.5 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 Tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 large aubergine
- 250g Chestnut mushrooms
- 500mls carton of passata
- 1 Tablespoon dried herbs
- 250mls boiled water
- 150g fresh spinach
- large handful parsley
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C.
- Heat oil in a large sauce pan, brown the meat, then add the diced garlic, add seasoning.
- Add the spices, tomato puree and let it cook off for a minute or so, before adding the passata.
- Add in the diced aubergine and mushrooms, around 250mls of extra boiled water, and cover with a good sprinkling of dried herbs.
- Cover saucepan with a lid/tin foil and transfer to the oven for 90 mins (or up to 2 hours). Stir every 30 mins or so. The meat needs to cook this long, and its worth it as it will just melt in the mouth.
- Once the meat is done, remove the saucepan from the oven, and stir in the fresh spinach and chopped parsley, reserving a little for decoration.
- Spoon into serving bowls, and top with some additional parsley.