Added by Despina33 | Wed 24 Feb 2010 @ 16:34
The cheese scones are a tasty alternative to pastry
For the braising beef
3-4 tbsp plain flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely crushed
6 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, chopped
600ml bottle of fruity red wine
600ml beef stock
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into large pieces
2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 bay leaves
Few sprigs of thyme
For the cheese scones
250g self-raising flour, plus extra for kneading
1/3 tsp fine sea salt
50g cold, unsalted butter
150g medium Cheddar, grated
150ml whole milk
1 Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Cut the beef into bite-size pieces and toss with the flour that has been seasoned with a pinch each of salt and pepper.
2 Heat a thin layer of oil in a large, heavy-based casserole. Fry the beef in batches until golden brown all over, transferring each batch to a plate. Add a little more oil as necessary before frying another batch. It will take about 2-3 minutes to brown each side.
3 Add a little more oil to the pan and fry the onions, garlic and bacon. Stir over high heat for 6-8 minutes until golden. Tip in any remaining seasoned flour and stir for 2 minutes. Pour in the red wine and let it boil until reduced by a third. Pour in the stock and add the carrots, celery, parsnip and herbs. Return the beef to the pan along with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. If the liquid does not cover the beef and vegetables.
4 Bring the liquid to a simmer on the hob. Cover the casserole with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2-21/2 hours, Stirring halfway, until the beef is very tender. Skim off any fat.
5 If you find the sauce too thin, remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and boil until thickened to a desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, then return the beef and vegetables to the pan to reheat and stir gently to coat in the sauce.
6 Make the scones half an hour before you are ready to serve. Set the oven temperature to 240C/Gas 9. Sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs (you can also use the food processor to do this). Stir through all but 2 tablespoons of the grated cheese. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, pour in the milk and mix to a dough.
7 Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until just smooth. Roll it out to about 2cm in thickness. Use a 6-7cm pastry cutter to stamp out rounds, re-rolling the trimmings until youĻve used up the dough. Arrange the rounds on top of the stew, leaving a little space between each one to allow for expansion. Sprinkle the rounds with the reserved cheese.
8 Bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and stand for 5 minutes before serving.