Slow Cook Beef Lentil & Sage Stew

I started out with the intention of making a sausage and puy lentil dish but while shopping for the sausages the horse-meat burger saga came to mind.  It wasn’t so much a specific worry about horses, more a general worry about all sorts of things they could be sneaking in there unannounced.

So I shelved my slow-cook recipe book and decided to put together a made-up dish using organic chunks of beef instead.  It did turn out tasty, but was a bit on the runny side.  Next time I’ll either increase the amount of stock and call it a soup, or add a sprinkling of flour to make it more of an unrunny, sturdy stew.

Ingredients – serves 8

01

Diced beef, 820g
Olive oil & knob of butter
Shallots, 2 or 3
Small onion, 1, finely chopped
Garlic, 3 cloves, crushed
Veg, chopped small:
1 leek … 2 courgettes …
2 carrots … 3 celery stalks
Green lentils, 200g
Tomato purée, 3 tbsp
Chopped tomatoes, 1 tin
Vegetable stock, 0.5 litre
Sage, 3 sprigs
Bay leaves, 2
Salt & pepper

Method

Instructions for the lentils I had were that they didn’t require soaking just rinsing, 10 minutes of rapid boiling, followed by 30 mins of simmering.  So I boiled them rapidly for 10 mins then put them to one side to add later with the rest of the vegetables for 4 hours of simmering.  Alternatively use tinned.

Meanwhile, fry the beef in a bit of butter and olive oil to brown it, season with salt and pepper, and place in a dish to one side.  Brown the shallots and also put to the side, over the beef.

Fry the finely-chopped onion and crushed garlic, add the sage, leeks, courgettes, carrots, celery, lentils and tomato purée, stirring all the while.  Add the chopped tomatoes, pour in the stock, season with salt and pepper, stir through and simmer for a few more minutes.

02
Transfer the beef and shallots to the slow cooker, add the vegetables and stock mixture with 2 bay leaves, stir through thoroughly and cook on low heat for 4 or 5 hours.  Remove the bay leaves before serving with crusty bread or mashed potatoes.

03

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