Beef Stew with Lentils and Shallots
Course: Main Skill level: easy Serves: 4
1 tbs olive oil
400 g (14 oz) chuck steak, diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
20 g (¾ oz) plain flour
25 g (1 oz) butter
300 g (10½ oz) banana shallots, halved
50 g (1¾ oz) smoked bacon lardons
1 tbs chopped fresh thyme
250 ml (9 fl oz) red wine
350 ml (12 fl oz) chicken stock
30 g (1 oz) puy lentils
To Serve: roast vegetables or fresh pasta vermicelli.
1 Pre-heat oven to 170 deg. C., 325 deg. F., Gas Mark 3.
2 Heat the oil in a large casserole over a medium heat. Put the beef in a bowl, season with salt and pepper and rub in the flour. Add the beef to the casserole and fry for 5 minutes until golden brown. You will need to do this in batches.
3 Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium and add the butter. When melted, add the shallots and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a plate.
4 Add the bacon and thyme to the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned. Return the beef to the pan along with any remaining flour and cook for 1 minute.
5 Stir in the wine, then simmer until reduced by half. Pour in the stock and increase the heat to high. Simmer for 3 minutes, skimming off any scum. Cover with a lid and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for 1 hour.
6 Add the shallots to the casserole and cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir in the lentils and cook for a further 45 minutes. Serve with some roast vegetables or fresh pasta vermicelli.