I’m not actually sure where I got this recipe. But with the usual ‘almost-out-of-date’ steak pieces lurking in my subconscious, I put ‘beef pieces’ into the search engine, and this came up in my ‘Drafts’ section. I wonder what other gems lie there, awaiting their moment in the sun?
This recipe has that combo (anything covered with a layer of potatoes) so beloved of Mr Saturday Night, and what with it actually being a Saturday night, I thought I’d give it a go…
It also ticked a few ‘use-’em-up’ boxes as I had a leek languishing in the fridge, and a handful of oul spuds just waiting for their chance to shine.
Here it is, see how you get on…
- A large, shallow frying pan.
- A 1-2 litre casserole with lid – I used the largest Pyrex I had – I got it for a wedding present in 1986.
- A sharp knife
- A food tongs
- A sheet of foil, to cover the top of the casserole
- a small pan/microwavable container
- Preheat the oven to 160ºC Fan. This is much higher than you’d normal use for a stew but is correct.
- Place the pan over a medium/high heat and add half the oil.
- To this add the seasoned beef pieces in two batches, and fry until well seared.
- As the beef is done, remove it to the casserole dish and set aside.
- Into the same pan, heat some more oil, then add the onions and leeks and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the garlic and carrots, cook for another two minutes.
- Add the flour and stir through,
- Pour in the red wine. Stir it in and let it bubble and reduce a little
- Add the beef stock and bring to a boil.
- Add the Thyme and taste for seasoning. Pour everything into the casserole dish over the seared beef and mix together.
- Slice your peeled potatoes (I used Maris Pipers) into 1cm slices and arrange, overlapping on top of the beef.
- Melt the butter and brush it generously over all the potatoes
- Add a sheet of foil, put the lid on and put the Casserole 1 hour in the oven.
- After the hour, remove the lid and turn the oven up to 200ºC and cook for a further 30 minutes, this will crisp up the buttered potatoes and give them a gorgeous golden-brown colour.
- Sprinkle on some chopped parsley (aye right…) and serve your Beef hotpot with a side of buttered green vegetables. I like Purple Sprouting Broccoli with this, but buttered Cabbage would be lovely too.
- The high cooking times makes sense when you realise that you can have this Hot Pot on the table in a little under – or just over- 2 hours.
- Brushing the potatoes with melted butter is essential, otherwise the potatoes will go a horrible grey colour. You could use any cooking oil if you’d rather, just make sure that the potatoes are generously covered with the oil.
- To make it today and eat it tomorrow – Remove the hotpot from the oven after the initial 1-hour cooking. Let it cool and keep cool or in the fridge overnight. When you want to cook it, let it come to room temperature (if you can) then put it into the oven – still covered for 15-20 minutes at 180º Fan, then remove the lid and foil, turn the oven up to 200º and give it another 30 minutes. Check that the potatoes are well cooked.