This is Joe Collier’s famous QPR stew. It is not known whether King Alfred famously burnt his cakes whilst listening out for match reports of his football team (Winchester Albion) but this is Joe’s explanation for how he charred the beef, and accidentally added a certain je ne sais quoi to the dish!
The stew is best accompanied by baked potatoes cut in half, with the flesh garnished with a generous portion of butter.
Serves 4: Preparation 20 mins. Cooking 4 hours.
|600g stewing beef, cut into cubes
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 large carrots, sliced
70g tomato purée
1 bay leaf
a sprig of thyme
flour, to coat the beef
salt and ground black pepper to season
Warm a generous knob of butter in a heavy le Creuset-style casserole and add the onion and garlic. When the onion has softened a little and turned transparent, add the beef, turning regularly but infrequently enough to allow the beef to become slightly burnt. Sprinkle with flour and mix in until the meat is thoroughly coated. Add the tomato purée, salt and pepper, bay leaf and thyme, and then add water to cover. Simmer for an hour. Next add the sliced carrots, cover with a lid and simmer for a further three hours. Stir from time to time, adding more water if need be.
Remove the herbs before serving.