Gluten-free | Sugar-free | Dairy-free | Grain-free
Makes 4-6 portions
Why it’s delicious
I wanted to create a decidedly unctuous stew, reminiscent of my Grandmother's famous beef and onion stew that graced many a grateful family table. This stew is rich, delicious and warming, I reckon my grandmother would be proud.
Helpful hints and tips
It's important that you chose the right cut of beef for this stew with chuck steak being my top pick as it's full of flavour and perfect for slow braising and stews. It comes from the neck and shoulder area of the animal so it’s muscles that are used frequently, meaning it needs a good stew to make it tender but it is tasty when done right.
You could also use brisket, skirt or silverside and rump can work as well.
This recipe requires Bridget's Sticky Sauce, a healthy cooking sauce I use in many of my recipes. It's simple, healthy and packs a lot of flavour without adding unnecessary calories. If you need the recipe, you can get it here.
You can use a slow cooker or pressure cooker to make this stew.
- 4 tbsp Bridget's Sticky Sauce
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) beef chuck steak, cut into thick pieces
- 2 medium onions, peeled and cut into thick pieces
- 150 ml (5 FL oz) Kombu Water
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh garlic
- 1 large fennel bulb, tops removed and cut into thick pieces
- 300 g (10.5 oz) button or small shiitake mushrooms, cut in half
- 1 tbsp instant coffee, optional for added colour and flavour
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- Himalayan or mineral salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 3 star anise
- 6 whole cloves
- Fennel tops to serve
- Cauliflower/ broccoli rice or mash to serve
- In a mixing bowl combine the sliced beef with 2 tablespoons of sticky and mix well to ensure the beef is well coated in sticky.
- Preheat a large wok or frying pan on medium to high and add half the beef to the hot pan. Allow the beef to brown and caramelise all over before removing and placing the beef in a slow cooker, pressure cooker or heavy bottomed pot used for stewing.
- Repeat with the remaining beef.
- Add the sliced onion to a mixing bowl and add the remaining sticky sauce, stirring to mix well. Add all the onions to the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring often to caramelise and flavour the onions.
- Add the onions to the beef and then turn the heat of the pan down to medium. Add the kombu water to the pan and using a spatula, swish the kombu around the pan for 30 seconds to scrape any crunchy bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the kombu into the beef and onions.
- Add the garlic, fennel bulb, mushrooms, coffee and paprika to the beef and stir to combine. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Add the star anise and cloves to the pot or add them to an enclosed tea leaf strainer that you can add to the pot. If you don't have an enclosed tea strainer you will need to pick the cloves and star anise out once the stew is cooked as they are very pungent when accidentally bitten down on and only used to flavour the stew before discarding.
- If using a slow cooker, cook the stew for 6-8 hours until the beef is tender. If using a pressure cooker, cook on medium to high pressure for 1 hour.
- Taste the stew for flavour and add seasoning if required. If the gravy seems a little watery, you can carefully drain the liquid from the pot and boil the liquid only on high until the liquid reduces down and thickens a little. This will not only make the gravy thicker but it will also intensify the flavour.
- Serve your stew topped with some of the fennel tops and beside cauliflower or broccoli mash, cauliflower or broccoli rice, tender cooked silverbeet or for a summery version, Bridget’s pickles and a fresh mixed salad.