I look walking down the street at the moment or looking out my window to see the leaves on the trees changing and start to litter the ground. The smell of Autumn makes me smile and I know that warm hot chocolates, cosy scarves and the smell of bonfires is about to envelope me in one giant pumpkin spiced hug. It is at this point in the year, that my slow cooker or giant casserole dish makes a permanent return to my kitchen work top because there is simply nothing I like more than a big pile of stew in an over-sized bowl at the end of the day. Now, this is in fact a recipe for vegetarian beef bourguignon or beef stew. Not only is it suitable for most diets but also fits in well for anyone on Slimming World as it is only 2 syns per portion and really hearty. This is an amazing one-pot wonder that will feed so many or create a great stock pile for your freezer too. You simply chuck all the ingredients in and let the cooker do the rest – if you’re going to be in all day you can pop it in a casserole dish in your over and if not then that is what the slow cooker is for. Easy, rich, tasty, delicious and full of “meaty” flavour this is one I always go back for again and again.
Quick List of Ingredients (serves 4-6)
20 – 30 Shallots (peeled but left whole)
8 Carrots (peeled and chopped into chunks)
4-6 Sticks of Celery (thinly”ish” sliced)
4 Cloves of Garlic (crushed)
2 Bags of Quorn Steak Strips
1 Pack of Quorn Bacon (cut into smallish squares)
1 box of Mushrooms (quartered)
Handful of Fresh Parsley (chooped)
100ml of Red Wine (can always use red wine vinegar instead but only half!)
2tbsp of Tomatoe Puree
1 Carton of Passatta
1.5L Vegetable Stock
2 Springs of Fresh Thyme
A strip of fresh orange peel
2 Bay Leaves
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Take a large oven proof pot (with a lid ((I use a casserole pot)) ) and we are basically going to pop in everything, nearly! So in goes the steak strips, bacon, shallots, carrots, celery, garlic, parsley, red wine, tomato puree, passatta and stock. Mix it all together.
2. Next you need a “bouquet garni” (also known as a bunch of stuff wrapped in string!!) Take the orange peel, and place the thyme and bay leaves in it. Then tie it together to create a little parcel and pop it, half submerged, into the pot and pop the lid on.
3. You now need to put the pot in the oven where it needs to cook for around 2.5 hours, until the onions and carrots are nicely soft. Every half hour to forty minutes just give it a bit of a stir.
4. After two and a half hours, chuck the mushrooms in too and stir them in so they don’t sit on top and are able to soak in the liquid.
5. Take from the oven and make sure to remove your “bouquet garni” and pop it in your rubbish bins or food waste bins and serve immediately. I served this with mashed potatoes which I made by boiling potatoes and mashing with a small amount of vegetable stock….delicious!
You Should Know…
*This does freeze, so double the recipe and pop some in the freezer for a rainy day
*If you substitute in meat, you will need about 1kg of beef and with the bacon make sure you remove the fat and you will need to fry both off in fry lite before cooking! You can also use beef stock too!
*Try serving it with cous cous or rice to make this dish a little different or a nice big pile of greens,
There you have it folks, the veggie version and let me tell you it is bloody gorgeous and filling too. I hope you enjoy and let me know how it turns out won’t you?