Beef hotpot

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Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 800g stewing or braising beef, diced into 2-3cm chunks
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk of celery, end removed and diced
  • 125g mushrooms, finely chopped or sliced
  • 160g pancetta cubes (or sliced strips)
  • 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of vegetable bouillon
  • 1 tablespoon of Marmite
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 400ml water
  • 750g all-round potatoes, peeled and very finely sliced
  • 30g butter, melted
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

You will need a large frying pan and an oven proof casserole dish with a lid.

Timings

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Beef hotpot

There are many ways to reinvent a casserole… but this has to be one of my favourites. Traditionally made with lamb, this beef hotpot has a richness to it reminiscent of a glass of red wine by a roaring fire in your favourite pub after a long walk in the countryside. Think roast dinner and gravy all in one pan with the added benefit of cooking the potatoes on top, meaning that there’s one less pan to wash. And every body knows that we like to save on dishes.

Method

Preheat the oven to 160/315/gas 2-3.

Heat the rapeseed oil in a large pan over a high heat. Sprinkle the diced beef with flour and season well with Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

SautΓ© the beef in the frying pan until it starts to go crispy golden brown, turning the meat from time to time. You will most likely need to do this in batches, removing each batch to the casserole dish as you go.

Remove the last batch of browned beef to the casserole dish and add the onions, carrots, celery, mushrooms and pancetta to the frying pan. Cook over a high heat for 3 minutes, scraping the residue from the bottom of the pan as you go. Remove to the casserole dish and stir.

Place the casserole dish over a medium heat and add the water, vegetable bouillon, Marmite, tomato paste and Dijon mustard. Stir well and bring to a gentle simmer.

Meanwhile, place the butter and sliced potatoes in a large bowl. Season well with Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well until the potatoes are coated in butter.

Remove the casserole dish from the heat and layer over the butter-coated potatoes until there are 2-3 layers of potatoes on top of the beef casserole.

Place in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. Serve piping with plenty of greens.

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You can tell if the beef is cooked by carefully finding a piece of beef from under the potatoes and cutting it in half with a knife. If it cuts easily then the hotpot is ready. If the beef looks hard and dry then it needs to cook for longer. Cover the hotpot with a lid to stop the potatoes from burning and place in the oven for a further 15 minutes. If you feel the hotpot is drying out, simple add more water, a tablespoon at a time.

You can make the beef hotpot in advance. Cook as above and leave to cool. To reheat, simply preheat the oven to 180 and pour over 3 tablespoons of water. Cook for 20 minutes or until the centre of the hotpot is piping.”

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