Andy the gasman's stew

You might have heard me talking about my mate Andy the Gasman – he's the one who didn't ever want to use his oven as he thought it might devalue the price of his house, so he left it in its cellophane wrapper! Five years on and nothing's changed, but I wanted to get him cooking, so this is something I invented for him to try out. It's so easy to make because all it involves is throwing a few things into the pot and leaving it in the oven for a while. In Andy's case, he'll go to a football match while it's cooking so it's ready as soon as he gets home. You can serve it as a stew or in tortillas with crunchy salad and guacamole. The other great thing about it is that you can bulk it out with different types of roughly chopped root veg, or butternut squash, or even with different types of beans (try cannellini, flageolet or butter beans), and if you want a bit of heat, feel free to add a couple of crumbled dried chillies.

Nutritional Information (amount per serving)


Serves 4   Approx time: 390   Difficulty: super easy


  • olive oil
  • 700 g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm dice
  • 2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 1 level teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 heaped tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 orange, zest and juice of
  • 800 g stewing steak, quality lamb or higher-welfare pork, cubed
  • 410 g good-quality tinned cooked chickpeas, drained
  • 2x400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes, chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tub fresh live yoghurt, to serve
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, leaves picked, to serve


First of all, you need to preheat your oven, but the temperature will depend on how long you want to cook the stew for. If you want it ready in 3 hours, preheat it to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4, but if you want to cook it for 6 hours, then you need the oven on at 140ºC/275ºF/gas 1.

Put a large casserole-type pan on the hob on a high heat and add a couple of good lugs of olive oil. Let this heat up, then add your potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, cumin, paprika, and orange zest and juice, and stir together. Cook for 1 minute, then mix around again before adding the meat, the chickpeas and the tomatoes. Season lightly with salt and pepper and pour over enough water to cover everything. Bring to the boil and put into the oven. You are now free to go out for a few hours (for the whole day if you want to!). Serve the stew in bowls with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkle of coriander leaves.

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