Simple beef stew

Simple beef stew
Simple beef stew Photo: Marina Oliphant

This is one to assemble in 15 minutes and allow to cook while you are eating or watching television and then the next night's dinner is taken care of. Experiment with ingredients: you may want to include caraway seeds or chilli paste or chutney.


1.5kg chuck or blade steak, cut into large cubes

60g plain flour

2 tsp Spanish paprika

1 x 400g can peeled tomatoes in juice

1 glass white or red wine

2 onions, diced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 stick celery, finely sliced

3 medium potatoes, cut into large chunks


freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 180C.

Roll beef in flour mixed with paprika (easiest to do in a plastic or paper bag). Put into an enamelled, cast-iron casserole that will hold all the ingredients comfortably with not too much extra space.

Whiz tomatoes and their juice in a food processor, or crush roughly with a wooden spoon, and add to meat. Add remaining ingredients to casserole and stir. Press a piece of baking paper over contents and cover with lid. Cook in oven, undisturbed, for 2 hours.

Taste for seasoning. Check if meat is tender and cook longer, if necessary.

Offer stew with a bowl of yoghurt and maybe a small bowl of sliced pickled dill cucumbers. Or serve with simply cooked carrots or another vegetable alongside if you are happy to dirty another pot.