Try making this mouthwatering beef stew to keep the season's chill at bay. Flavoured with aromatic rosemary and laced with juicy prunes it is sure to prove a family staple.
Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Heat 1 tbsp oil in the bottom of a heavy casserole and fry the bacon or lardons until crisp. Set aside and continue to fry the beef, adding a little more oil if necessary. Cook this in 2 batches so the pan doesn’t overcrowd and the heat is kept up. Remove and set aside with the baconor lardons.
Fry the shallots until the edges begin to brown. Remove and add to the meat. Return your beef to the pot with the celery, carrots and garlic. Fry for a further 4-5 minutes until the celery and carrots begin to soften. Stir through the flour then add in the prunes and season well. Pour over the red wine vinegar and allow it bubble off before adding the stock and rosemary leaves. Cook for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the potatoes into cold salted water, bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Drain and mash with a knob of butter and a splash of milk, then stir through the parsley. Serve alongside the stew.
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For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home and view the full Food safety at home video.