My Favourite One-Pot-Dinner
Winter is here, it’s finally cold enough to put the oven on (actually it’s so cold inside, I’m using it as a heater!) so time to crack out the casserole and slow cook meat to create a comforting, hearty meal to warm me up from the inside out. I struggle with my Sydney home in winter and it’s lack of central heating (one of the few things I miss from the UK). In summer it is perfect for enjoying the summer sun, with the barbeques round the pool, but in winter it is often colder inside than it is outside.
Last week I stumbled across an online competition looking for a recipe for your favourite one-pot-dinner, and it got me thinking. How do you pick your favourite dish when there are so many awesome one-pot combinations? I toyed with casseroles and stew and dumplings but then I remembered the Cobbler, a hearty stew with a crispy, cheesy topping. Every now and then I like a reminder of the mother land so I used Stilton cheese for the Cobbler and Guinness (I know, it’s Irish, but still a memory from home) for the stew.
So here you have it, my recipe for Beef, Guinness and Stilton Cobbler (serves 2-3)
500g chuck steak
2 tbsp plain flour
2 garlic cloves
2 sticks of celery
1 small swede
375ml beef stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
salt and pepper
For the cobbler
125g self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting
25g unsalted butter
60g Stilton cheese
handful of chopped fresh thyme
75ml milk, plus extra to glaze
The key to this one-pot-dinner is to have a good pot that can go both on the stove top and in the oven. I ruined a very expensive wedding gift a few weeks after my wedding by putting it on the gas when I shouldn’t have done. An expensive lesson to learn, but I’ve never done it again.
Pre-heat the oven to 150°C
Finely chop the onion, garlic and celery and fry in the pot in a little olive oil until softened but not brown. Chop the steak in to 2cm chunks, season and toss in the flour (I usually do this in a plastic bag). Push the onion mixture to one side, and the beef and fry until browned. Add the rosemary and the rest of the flour to the pot and stir until the meat and veg are coated in flour.
Add the Guinness to the pot, stirring continuously until the liquid starts to thicken and there are no more lumps. Boil the Guinness for a couple of minutes until it reduces a little.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the carrot, parsnip and swede into 2cm cubes. Once the Guinness has started to thicken, add the rest of the chopped veg, the stock, tomato paste and bay leaf and stir until well combined. Bring to the boil, cover then put in the pre-heated oven for 2-2 ½ hours until the sauce has thickened and the beef is meltingly tender.
While the beef is cooking make the cobbler. I’m not sure why it’s called a cobbler; it is basically a cheesy scone that goes on top of the stew instead of serving it with dumplings.
To make the cobbler put the flour, salt, crumbled Stilton, thyme and butter in a food processor and pulse until it forms a breadcrumb like texture. Add the milk, while the motor is running and mix until it forms a dough. Remove the dough from the food processor and knead gently to form a smooth dough. Roll the dough out flat until it is 2cm thick and press out 6 rounds with a 6cm cookie cutter.
After 2-2 ½ hours, once the beef is cooked, season the sauce to taste and increase the oven temperature to 200°C. Brush the cobbler rounds with milk to glaze then place them on top of the beef stew. Return to the oven without the lid for 20-25 minutes until the cobbler is nicely browned and risen.
Serve as is or with some peas if you’d like to add a splash of colour.