This is a tasty winter warmer that I adapted from a recipe that I was given, when I went on a cookery day out in Somerset. It uses seasonal ingredients such as chestnuts and cranberries, cheaper cuts of beef and would be perfect for a New Year’s party, especially after all the turkey consumed at Christmas!
What is really good about this recipe, is that it can be made upto 4 days in advance, being kept in the fridge and also it freezes well, making this handy for busy people at this time of the year.
It is fairly simple to make but looks very impressive served up.
9ozs/250g Smoked Back Bacon Cubes
3 tbsp Gluten Free Plain Flour - seasoned with salt, pepper and a pinch of paprika (not smoked or hot)
3 ½ lbs/1.6Kg Lean Beef Cubed – skirt or chuck steak
2-3 tbsp Rapeseed Oil
3 Red Onions – peeled and finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves – peeled and finely chopped
9ozs/250g Chestnut Button Mushrooms
½ Bottle Red Wine
6ozs/170g Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
4ozs/113g Fresh Chestnuts - peeled and chopped in half
1-2 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar
1 ½ pints/300ml Beef Stock
2 tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
¼-½ tsp Crushed Chillies
3 Bay Leaves
Fresh Parsley, chopped to garnish
Preheat oven to 180C/350F Gas 4 or 170C Fan Oven.
1 In a large flame-proof casserole dish, cook the bacon over a medium heat until crispy and then remove.
2 Tip the flour into a plastic bag, add the meat and shake to coat.
3 Add half the oil to the casserole dish and brown the meat in batches, adding more oil as necessary.
4 Remove the meat and set aside and add the onions and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until they start to brown.
5 Add the garlic and mushrooms to the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes.
6 Return the meat and bacon to the casserole, add the bay leaves, red wine, beef stock, sweet chilli sauce and crushed chillies, bring to the boil and cook in a pre-heated oven for one hour.
7 While the casserole is cooking, prepare the chestnuts by splitting the skin, then putting them in a covered dish and microwave each chestnut for 10 secs on high power. Once heated, peel off the outer skin and cut in half.
8 After cooking for an hour, add the cranberries, chestnuts and sugar, season with a little black pepper, stir well and return to the oven for another 45 minutes to one hour.
9 Check that the meat is tender, the cranberries are cooked and not tart, adding more sugar if necessay.
10 Re-check the seasoning, scatter with chopped parsley and serve.
Serve with green vegetables, roast or jacket potatoes, or if preferred, rice!