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Well, it's cold and dark as fuck outside and we've

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Well, it's cold and dark as fuck outside and we've just put up our Christmas tree. Time for a nice warming beef stew and I'm willing to share it with /ck/. Enjoy.

First off is the ingredients (make two large portions):
Beef shank (also called shin) about 400g or 14oz (any other stewing beef is acceptable, but this is my favourite)
3 tbsp Gravy powder (can be substituted with beef stock and flour)
1 small turnip
1 onion
1 small parsnip
2 carrots
5 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup split red lentils
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme

Great additions include fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage, bay are all great) and rutabaga/swede.
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>>7099894
>1/3 cup split red lentils
Seems out of place.
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Preheat your oven to 350F/150C.

Make the base of your stew with approx 600ml (2.5 cups) cold water, salt, pepper, herbs, lentils and the gravy powder. I used a 2.3 litre china dish with a glass lid. Mix up the base real good until there are not lumps of gravy powder at the bottom.
Pro-tip, the lentils act as a thickener, so after making your stew and you found it a little watery, increase the lentils.
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Second stage of the base...
Finely dice the onion and garlic and stir into the rest of the base. By cutting it finely, it will mostly disintegrate at the end of cooking. Note the garlic is sliced much finer than the picture shows, because the slices are still stuck together.
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First step in preparing the meat is to gently pull it apart along the lines of sinew. If the outer layer of sinew detaches or has large clumps of fat, I normally discard those pieces. In general the sinew is absolutely fine to go into the stew.
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I like my pieces a bit smaller than this, but it's personal preference. Cut them to 2cm or just under an inch cubes.
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>>7099894
Needs beer.
Also, more onion, less finely chopped.
And maybe some parsley and marjoram.
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Add the beef and the bone to the dish. Should look something like this now.

>>7099939
I forgot about beer since it's been a long time that I used it in cooking. Beer is a great alternative to water. Even if half water/beer, it elevates the dish to new heights.
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Peel and top & tail your veggies. If using rutabaga, consider purchasing a saw. Seriously.
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>>7099959
I'd sear the meat, then sautee the onion and garlic in the meat fonde before adding them to the stew.
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Dice like so and add to the dish. Make sure the veg is on top of the meat. If the stew gets dry, it will affect the veg, which if anything will create a nice variety in taste and texture. If your meat dries out, it's shit.
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Add some more cold water if needed. It should cover all the veg fairly snugly.
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>>7099962
Nigga, what is going on with your peeler?
It's held together with string.
Did you make it out of two broken peelers?
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>>7099939
I use rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, and marjoram. Kind of an Italian roast beast. It is good.
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>>7100007
Rosemary I could see, if you don't use too much, but I never really use basil or oregano unless I'm using tomato, or lemon and olive oil. I could see it working in a wine based stew/braise.
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Put the lid on top and place it in the middle of your preheated oven. This will require at least 2.5 hours of cooking. I normally go for three for extra tenderness. If you cutting your meat into larger chunks, expect slightly longer cooking times. Check your stew a couple of times; make sure it's got a good cover of water and stir it. If you're dish is really full, put a tray underneath, because when it overflows it fucks up your oven.

>>7100003
The string is for grip. This one came form the UK. I like it because you can peel towards you for potatoes.
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>>7100007
>>7100022
Would work well with red wine and smidge of tomato purée. My main concern would be the root veg, which long for earthy flavours.
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>>7100036
I actually started roasting my vegetables separate from the beast. Those I usually just use salt, pepper and olive oil.
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Got hungry while waiting for it cook, so snacking on ramen.
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>>7100055
I've never tried this. How is it?
Does the beast's sauce lack flavour from the veg? Are the veg soft enough?
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>>7100065
I think the vegetables are more intact and firm. I like them that way. The broth maybe a little lacking but I sometimes deglaze the veggie pan with broth and pour it back in. Americas Test Kitchen had a good tip about microwaving them for a bit before roasting. I have never had a problem. I put a little water or broth in the roasting pan and cover it.
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>>7100078
Smart. I'm not sure if I will ever try cooking this way. One of my favourite things about stews is that it can be left to its own devices for hours. Also, I don't have a microwave.
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Update: been in for an hour and a half now. Looking sexy. Lentils are breaking apart and thickening; bone marrow is melting away; and the veg is becoming soft. My whole house smells of onion.
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>>7100180
Needs salt pork, or smoked bacon, and add less/no salt.
Finely chop some next time, and fry it with the meat and onions. Skim off some of the fat after its cooked for a while.
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OP, there's lots to love here.

Shank is my favorite stewing cut, by far. But one of the reasons I love it so much is because you don't need to cut/cube it.

So, some things that are puzzling. Why not brown your meat first? Build up some find? Caramelize your aromatics? it builds up more flavor. And, you can just deeply brown both sides of that shank, throw the whole thing in the pot, and it breaks apart into chunks for you. Less fuss, and it looks good.
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>>7100270
I've never noticed a difference in flavour when browning the meat.
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Half an hour ago, so time to get started on some delicious dumplings. If you have this shit then lucky you! I've been reduced to a block of vegetable lard...

PS increase your oven head up a little bit and make sure your stew still has a decent covering of liquid, as the dumplings are thirsty.
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>>7100328
Herbs, you slut. Put them in the dumplings.
Preferably fresh.
You cant have a stew with just thyme, no acid, and just water and gravy as a base.
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What you need for dumplings:
4oz plain flour or self-raising flour (omit the baking powder)
2oz beef suet (or vegetable suet... or a block of shitty vegetable shortening that's been in the freezer)
Small bottle of ice cold water
Salt, pepper and sage
1 tsp baking powder
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The reason I keep my vegetable shortening in the freezer is to make it brittle. This way you can cut it up into little pieces.
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Put it in the bowl. They should almost be like pellets no more than a cm long.
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>>7100422
In straya, the 'no name' brand is called 'black and gold'.
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Mix it up with the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and sage (I didn't have any sage). Use your fingertips to break up any large chunks of fat.
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Gradually add ice cold water until it forms a cohesive ball. Be careful not to knead the dough, you only want to form it together. Preventing the lumps of fat from becoming too small or melting completely is the key to a perfect dumpling.
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Cut ball into eight pieces
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Very gently shape into balls and plot on the top of the stew. Put the lid on and return to the oven. Be careful not to overfill with dumplings as they double in size. The amount I put into that dish was almost the maximum. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes. If you prefer your dumplings more crispy, take the lid off half-way through. If you prefer them more moist, turn them upside down halfway through. I like them somewhere in between, so don't move then and keep the lid throughout the whole 25 minutes.
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>>7100027
What the hell is that in the bottom of your oven?
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Cooking complete. Now to let it cool for a bit before serving it and showing pics.

>>7100500
It was once apple pie that overflowed almost two months ago. Just a load of burnt shit now though.
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>>7100530
NO HERBS
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>>7100530
You used packaged gravy, which is an absolute travesty.
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>>7100180
It looks like my mom's stew. To be honest I'm not very impressed.
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This looks great
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Beautiful tender meat.
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>>7100658
Looks like a moist vagina with massive flaps

Enjoy your meal
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Big old plate of thick stew.
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>>7100581
It's just to help bulk it up. Lots of flavour come from the shank bone.
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>>7100669
fucking hungry right now
why am I browsing this thread at 3am when I have nothing to eat

enjoy op
Thread posts: 47
Thread images: 29


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