Slow cooked beef with potato mash

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This is a great way to use a cheaper but extremely flavoursome cut of meat like chuck steak. The slow cooking process not only results in very tender meat, but also enhances the wonderful flavour and taste that this cut of meat has.

What you need

For the slow cooked beef

  • 3 Tbls olive oil
  • 1kg chuck steak on the bone (ask your butcher to cut the steaks into medium sized pieces)
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 carrot – peeled and diced
  • 2 celery sticks – diced
  • 4 anchovies – chopped*
  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 400g tinned tomatoes – roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbls fresh flat leafed parsley – chopped

*Anchovies add a wonderful depth of flavour and seasoning to the dish without any of the fishy taste or smell. However, if you can’t bring yourself to use anchovies, you can substitute with 1 teaspoon of sea salt instead.

For the potato mash

  • 4 medium floury potatoes*
  • 50g butter
  • ½ cup warm milk

*I prefer to use Desiree potatoes as they have a firm, creamy tasting flesh making them ideal for smooth mash. Being a waxy potato, they are also great for roasting and using in baked dishes such as my cabbage and potato bake. Desiree are available across most retailers and are easily recognisable by their lovely red skin and light yellow flesh.

What to do

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot on a medium heat.

Add a few pieces of the steak at a time and brown well on both sides, then remove and rest. Repeat with the remaining pieces.

Reduce the heat to a lower level and put all the diced vegetables and the chopped anchovies in the pot.

Cook for 2 minutes or until the onion has softened and become translucent. Stir occasionally.

Return the meat to the pot and add the tinned tomatoes, wine, bay leaf, ground black pepper and nutmeg.

Stir through then cover and cook on a low heat for 3 hours (or until the meat is tender and can be pulled apart with a fork). Check part-way through the cooking process and add a little boiling water if it looks like most of the liquid has evaporated.

Once cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.

Use a fork to break up the meat and remove and discard the bones and bay leaves.

To prepare the potato mash, peel and quarter the potatoes then place into a pot and cover with cold water.

Bring to the boil, then boil for approximately 20 minutes or until the potatoes become very soft. You should be able to push a fork through easily.

Drain and return to the same pot. Place on low heat for approximately 2 minutes or until all the water evaporates and potatoes dry out. This helps to make the mash fluffy.

For really smooth mash, push the potatoes through a ricer – if you don’t have one, use a potato masher to mash the potatoes in the pot while they are still hot.

Add the butter and warm milk, then season with salt and pepper and stir until you get a smooth consistency.

To serve, place the potato mash in the centre of a serving dish, then arrange the slow cooked beef around the mash.  Sprinkle with the chopped parsley over the top.

If you are not going to serve the mash immediately, you need to keep it warm and the best way to do that is to put the mash in a heatproof bowl and cover with foil. Then place the bowl on top of a saucepan filled with a little water on a very low heat and simmer very gently.

Questions & comments welcomed

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