When I described todays Friday Food to Gemma last night I told her it was ‘a beef stew with a herby cheesy cobbler topping. Kind of like a cakey-cheesy-scone on top.’
‘You mean like a savoury-cakey-cheesy-scone on a beef stew?’
It is that good. And it would be a crime not to make it during the hibernation-inducing weather we’re experiencing.
So here’s how: (taken from The Great British Farmhouse Cookbook (Yeo Valley))
Ingredients (Serves 6)
One kilo of chuck steak
5 tbsp sunflower oil
200g smoked bacon lardons
500ml good beef stock
2 medium onions, halved and sliced thinly
1 tsp white sugar
3 garlic cloves crushed
20g plain flour
500ml brown ale/stout
the leaves from 3 large thymes springs
4 fresh bay leaves
3tbsp worcester sauce
salt and pepper
For the cobbler topping:
165g plain flour
1tbsp baking powder
90g chilled butter
1tbsp thyme leaves
1tbsp curly leaf parsley
50g finely grated cheader
1 medium free range egg
1 tbsp soured cream
100ml whole milk
1. Season the beef. Fry off the bacon and remove onto a separate plate. Brown the beef in batches on a medium/high heat and put aside on a plate.
2. Add half the stock into the pan and rub the base to release the caramelised juices and tip back into the stock. With half the butter cook the mushrooms and also set them to one side. Add the remaining oil and butter to the pan with onions and sugar for 15-20m until caramelised. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute
3. Stir in the flour, ale, stock, thyme, bay and worcester sauce and bring to the boil. Add the beef, bacon and mushrooms, and simmer for 1.5-2h. Remove the bay leaves, allow to cool and preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Add the beef mix to your oven proof dish ready for the cobbler.
4. For the topping sift the flour, baking powder and half teaspoon of salt. Add the cubed butter and rub together with your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the herbs and cheese. Make a well in the centre and add the egg and milk and sour cream. Mix together into a batter and spoon large dollops around the edge of the beef.
Bake for 35-40 mins until golden.
The beef is melt-in-your-mouth good. The cobblers are like cheesy, cakey pillows of loveliness. It really is worth the time (not not as much effort as it sounds) to make this dish. We’re having friends to stay this weekend and this is on the menu for Saturday night’s dinner.
I hope you all have a fun and friend filled weekend too