Autumn evenings in London are fast approaching and that means it is time to add new foods to our menus. The best autumn recipes for me are the ones that warm you up and make you feel cosy. One of my personal favourites for a cold evening is this hearty, melt-in-your-mouth beef stew, paired with a glass of soft red wine.
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic finely sliced
500 g of beef cheek, trimmed of excess fat and sinew, cut into 5cm pieces
200 ml of dry white wine
2 big onions, finely minced
350 g of rooster potatoes, peeled and diced
500 ml of home-made vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
Black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
In a large saucepan heat the extra virgin olive oil on a medium heat, add the minced garlic and sauté for a few minutes.Add the beef cheek pieces, stirring them for 6-7 minutes until brown on all sides.
Pour in the wine and stir occasionally until almost completely evaporated. Then add the sliced onions, the bay leaves and cook for 10 minutes until softened.
Stir in the diced potatoes and cover with boiling home-made vegetable stock.
Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer gently for 2.5-3 hours, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens. Season it with salt only an hour before turning off the heath. Serve with some freshly ground black pepper and finely chopped parsley.
Other very good cuts for this recipe are the feather steak or the beef shin, very well suited as the beef cheek to be braised slowly.
This stew matches very well with a glass of Dolcetto d’Alba, produced in Italy’s north-western Piedmont region, a dry red wine noted for its juicy fruit character, low levels of acidity and gentle, soft tannins.
For those of you who are not sure about how to make a good, healthy, home-made vegetable stock, the recipe is coming soon.