This is the perfect dish for those long days when you come home late, and all you want to do is eat and fall into bed. This takes about half an hour to put together, but you can leave it to cook all day. This is about double what I usually do, it will serve 6 – 8.
2lb diced stewing steak
1/2 pt Guinness
1 leek (optional)
3 – 4 carrots
4 oz stew mix (pearl barley, split peas & lentils)
3/4 pt beef stock
1 tsp marmite/bovril
Pour the Guinness into the slow cooker and set it on high. Toss the meat in some flour and fry in batches. As each batch is done, add it to the Guinness in the slow cooker and let it marinade. Once all the meat is done, start on the veg. Lightly fry the onion and leek, dice the swede and slice/dice the carrots. Add prepared veg and stew mix to the meat, and give it a stir. Make up the beef stock and dissolve the marmite in it, before pouring over the prepared stew. Ideally the stock should be just below the level of the food, so just add accordingly. Cook on high for 4 – 6 hours, or 7 – 10 on low. In my opinion, slightly longer is better, as long as you don’t let it dry out. If you want to thicken up the gravy before serving, my favourite trick is to add gravy granules, but you could use cornflour instead. Give it another 10 minutes or so before serving if you do add any thickeners. This can just be served on it’s own, alternatively, dumplings, scones or potatoes would help it go a bit further.
*Tip: Experiment a bit with the veg, you can use pretty much any root vegetables, turnips, potatoes or parsnips would all work well. Just make sure the slow cooker isn’t over-full, and make sure it has enough stock and you’re good to go!