Beef and Mushroom Stew with Baby Potatoes (serves 4)

Cooking in someone else’s kitchen is always a bit of an experiment – finding the right equipment, getting the right temperature so a stew is a good choice as there is less that can go wrong with it. This stew has a delicious, deeply flavored sauce made from a mixture of beef stock, mushroom stock and my newest find, porcini mushroom paste with a touch of truffle oil (available at Waitrose in the UK at a very reasonable price, much more expensive in the US and available only online). Using portobello mushrooms improves the taste too.

2 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion – chopped
2 pounds stewing beef
1 pint of gluten free beef stock to which is added 1/2 a mushroom stock cube (gluten free Kallo brand -available at Waitrose and online from Amazon in the US) and 2 tsp. porcini mushroom paste
8 oz. portobello mushrooms – cut into chunks
1 pound of firm baby potatoes – cut in half or quartered, depending on the size of the potato.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil until sizzling, then add the onion and let soften and brown. Remove from pan.
Heat the other tbsp. oil, again until sizzling, add the beef and sear on all sides.
Pour in the stock, tip in the mushrooms and potatoes, bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 2 hours.


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