Jamie Oliver

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#1 Sat 10 Jan 09 9:02pm


Member since Sat 10 Jan 09

Wrong temperature for Stew?


This is my first post so bare with me.

I cooked the beef and ale stew from the Ministry of Food Book and did what it said and put the oven on to 200c.

Luckily i kept on checking it cos it was all burnt after approx 2 hours - luckily managed to rescue it!!

Is this the right temperature? I normally do stews at 160c but thought i would follow receipe to letter.

Can anyone help - thought might be a misprint?


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#2 Sun 11 Jan 09 1:50am


Forum champ
Occupation Mother, Best Friend, home trained cook.
From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sat 22 Dec 07

Re: Wrong temperature for Stew?

Hi Bartpotter,

I found this on MoF website, Im assuming this is the recipe your'e talking about.
In this recipe it say 180 celcius for 3 hours.  My oven cooks hot, so I would do 170 celcius at most, especially when the cooking time is so long.  When you put flour in any kind of dish like this you have to keep a close eye on it, whether its cooking in the oven or on the stovetop, your gravy is already created so its going to stick and burn if you don't.  I would be pulling it out every 20 minutes and giving a stir.  If your cookbook is saying 200 celcius, make contact with the admin of this forum and fill them in, then the confusion between that recipe and the one below can be resolved.  The only things I cook at 200 celcuis plus are some roasts for the first 1/2 hour of cooking and pizza.

Heres the link for the recipe below

http://www.jamiesministryoffood.com/con … d-ale-stew


To prepare, cook and serve your stew

If using the oven to cook your stew, preheat it to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4

Trim the ends off your celery and roughly chop the sticks

Peel and roughly chop the onions

Peel the carrots, slice lengthways and roughly chop

Put a casserole pan on a medium heat

Put all the vegetables and your bay leaves into the pan with 2 lugs of olive oil and fry for 10 minutes

Add your beef and flour

Pour in the booze and tinned tomatoes

Give it a good stir, then season with a teaspoon of sea salt (less if using table salt) and a few grinds of pepper

Bring to the boil, put the lid on and either simmer slowly on your hob or cook in an oven for 3 hours

Remove the lid for the final half hour of simmering or cooking. If it looks a bit dry, add a splash of water and stir through

When done, your beef should be tender and delicious

Remember to remove the bay leaves before serving, and taste it to see if it needs a bit more salt and pepper

You can eat your stew as it is, or you can add some lovely dumplings to it

Last edited by Mrs_Master (Sun 11 Jan 09 1:53am)

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#3 Sun 11 Jan 09 2:06pm


From Sheffield, UK
Member since Mon 05 Jan 09

Re: Wrong temperature for Stew?

I'm trying this stew today and I was talking to my Nan about it and she said that 200oC for 3 hours was extreme and it would burn. She said herself about 180oC and then turn it down over 2 hours would be more like it. I'm doing mine a little slower than that so I've turned it down to about 100oC for 2 hours, see how it is and then turn it up for the potatoes when I do a hotpot.

Normally I would use a slow cook but I'm moving this week and have packed it.

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#4 Sun 11 Jan 09 2:12pm


Forum champ
Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

Re: Wrong temperature for Stew?

How long you need to cook it for always depends on how tough a cut of meat you use.......................2 hrs for a decent bit of meat, 3 hrs or longer at a lower temp for a tough old bit of cow, that generally covers it! I'm not fond of slavishly following recipes for stews & braises as a lot depends on cut of meat, individual oven & your mood on the day (!).....................use them as a guide & learn to cook "by feel", checking & stirring every 1/2 hr or so.

Since I've been cooking stews for nearly 50 years, I'm getting quite good at them now!

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#5 Fri 16 Jan 09 6:25am


Occupation Enterprise Architect
From Montreal
Member since Fri 21 Mar 08

Re: Wrong temperature for Stew?

Too funny!! I had the same problem just a few days ago and I came on here to ask the same question!!

Unless temperature in Canada is hotter than it is in the UK, then the book is wrong. I just about killed my expensive Le Creuset pot; it took me an hour to scrape the burnt out husk of a stew!! Lost about $30 of food too...

I'm well experienced with Jamie's books and recipes, and this is the first time a recipe has been so far off. Too bad it happened in the MOF though, because the people using this book are the least likely to be able to recognize such a mistake.

I am going to teach my dad the recipe this Sunday, which is why I practiced it to the letter on Monday (thank God for being so thorough!!). My dad would have flipped and been completely discouraged if this had happened to him.

Anyway, the MOF is still a great book with loads of good recipes.

Even though the meal was a total loss, I still learned this from the book: ALWAYS KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR MEAL THE FIRST TIME YOU USE A RECIPE!!!!

I think the lower oven temperatures (or simmering, as the book suggests) will correct the problem. Still, keep an eye on it!


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#6 Fri 16 Jan 09 4:32pm


Member since Fri 16 Jan 09

Re: Wrong temperature for Stew?

I agree, mine was done after two hours!, I was going to add dumplings but it said to add dumplings to done stew and cook for another 30 mins! I'd have had no stew left!

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#7 Fri 16 Jan 09 7:50pm


Occupation Teacher and Writer
From Wales and Italy
Member since Mon 10 Oct 05

Re: Wrong temperature for Stew?

I think that 200C, or even 180 is too hot for a stew. I usually cook them at around 150-170 depending on the cut of meat. Yesterday, I cooked Jamie's 'Melt in the Mouth Shin Stew", BUT because it's such a tough cut of meat, I cooked it at 150C for 5 hours. It was beautifully tender, and no sign of burning or sticking. I've even done it over night at about 120C before now.

My advice would be "less heat, more time".

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#8 Fri 16 Jan 09 8:12pm


Forum champ
Member since Wed 23 Jul 08

Re: Wrong temperature for Stew?

hi - there have been lots of problems with this particular recipe - check these out:

http://www.jamieoliver.com/forum/viewto … 25&p=1

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#9 Sun 18 Jan 09 1:17am


Occupation Enterprise Architect
From Montreal
Member since Fri 21 Mar 08

Re: Wrong temperature for Stew?

Anyone know of any other recipes in the MoF that need to taken with a lump of coal? errrr, sorry.... a grain of salt?


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#10 Sun 18 Jan 09 4:46am

The White Rabbit

Forum super champ
From Sydney, Australia
Member since Tue 22 Jun 04

Re: Wrong temperature for Stew?

100C is probably a bit low to go for 2 hours, i'd be thinking more in the 150 range of things

is the temperature in the book for fan forced for conventional? for fanforced ovens you usually have to set about 20C below the conventional temperature because the air movement speeds up the cooking

I've just check the instructions in the MOF book. It does say preheat to 200C and some are for 3 hours (timings depend on what is in stew). I think this is too high. Normally in Jamie's stew recipes the stew is started at the higher temp and then turned down (often as soon as the stew goes in the oven) to 150/160ish. Perhaps there is a missing instruction.

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