As autumn sets in, we’ve found two slow-cooked meat recipes to slave – and drool – over in the kitchen.
What better way to welcome in the colder days than with some slow-cooked wholesome dishes?
These are two that we have come across in recent days, one using lamb and one using beef. They each take a few hours to complete but are definitely worth it when you get to taste the finished product.
Lamb and ale shepherd’s pie
For the lamb:
- 1kg shoulder of lamb
- Salt and pepper, to season
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery sticks
- Handful of fresh rosemary
- 500ml bottle of dark ale, your local favourite
- 150ml beef stock, made from a stock cube is fine
For the topping:
- 1kg potatoes
- 30g butter
- 50ml milk
- Sea salt and pepper, to season
- Preheat the oven to 120C Fan/140C/ 275F/Gas Mark 1.
- Season the lamb shoulder with salt and pepper. Heat a large casserole dish over a medium heat, add the olive oil and the lamb and fry quickly on each side until browned.
- Meanwhile, finely slice the onions, chop the garlic and roughly chop the carrots and celery. Remove the lamb and set aside. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery to the casserole dish and cook on a low heat for five minutes.
- Return the lamb to the casserole, then add the chopped rosemary, ale and beef stock. Put the lid on, then transfer to the oven and cook for five hours.
- Once cooked, tear the meat apart using a fork, mix back into the casserole, leave to cool then place in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 160C Fan/180C/350F/Gas Mark 4.
- Now, cut the potatoes into chunks. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the potatoes and cook until fork tender. Drain well, leave to steam for a couple of minutes and then mash until smooth. Add the butter and milk and mash again, then season.
- Place the lamb casserole into a big oven-proof dish and spoon over the mashed potatoes, pressing them down gently. Return to the oven and cook for another 25 minutes until hot, golden and bubbling. Serve with steamed green beans.
Recipe from The Hebridean Baker published by Black & White Publishing, RRP £20.
Beef and watercress bourguignon
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1kg braising steak, with some fat, skirt or shin cut into large pieces
- 2 onions, finely sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 200g button mushrooms, whole
- 50g watercress
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 500ml red wine
- 500ml beef stock
- 4 bay leaves
- 10g parsley stalks
- 3 sprigs thyme
- Pinch of salt and black pepper
- This is best made the day before you want to serve to allow the flavours to develop. Preheat oven to 115C Fan/130C/275F/Gas Mark 1.
- Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over a medium high heat. Mix the flour with a little salt and use to coat the beef.
- Brown the beef in four batches on all sides, waiting until the meat releases itself from the dish with ease. Do not overcrowd the dish or else the meat will steam instead of caramelising.
- Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate to rest.
- In the same dish, add the onions and a small splash of water. Scrape the base of the dish to release the crusted pieces and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and sweat the onions for 10 minutes or until soft, translucent and sweet.
- Add the garlic and the mushrooms and cook for 4-5 minutes more or until the mushrooms begin to caramelise and lose their moisture.
- Add the tomato puree and cook out, stirring for two minutes. Add the meat back to the dish and pour in the wine. Increase the heat and bubble for 3-4 minutes or until reduced by a third.
- Add the stock and tie the bay, parsley and thyme in a bundle with string. Add this to the dish along with the watercress.
- Cover with a lid and pop into the oven for three hours.
- Check the meat, it should easy yield to a blunt fork. When done, remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Chill in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, bring the stew back to room temperature before heating in a low oven until hot through. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as the flavours will be more mature by now.
- Serve with pillows of mash and green vegetables.
Recipe from Love Watercress.