Video transcription

Hi, I'm Sophie Uliano author of "The Gorgeously Green" book series, and today I'm going to show you how to make the perfect Winter stew. Now for my stew today I'm going to be using grass fed beef. Now the reason why I'm using grass fed beef is for my purposes if I'm going to eat beef which I do very occasionally as a special treat, I like to make sure that it's grass fed and the reason why is that it's much healthier for you because grass fed beef is absolutely full of the healthy omegas and it's much much lower in fat. So, that being said about the beef, I have some stewing steak or beef here, grass fed. I have two pounds and what I'm going to do is in a plastic bag I've put about four tablespoons of plain all purpose flour. Now, before I put the beef in I'm going to just grind in a little bit of black pepper. I'm going to put in a little bit of salt, sea salt and I'm going to put in a little bit, a little sort of pinch or so of mixed herbs. Now, the next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to shovel all of this beef, in fact you know what, I'm going to use my hands to shovel this lovely grass fed beef into this bag like so and here's the trick, here is I'm just going to get the air out of the bag. I'm going to seal it sort of gently and I'm going to give it a really really good shake and the idea is that this is just such an easy way of coating all of this beef in this flour and seasoned mixture. Now the next thing I'm going to do I'm putting a little bit of safflower oil in my pan. I like to fry with grapeseed, rapeseed or safflower oil, sunflower oil because it's a much healthier way to fry than to use olive oil. So the next thing I'm going to do, medium high heat, the oil is getting nice and warm, is I'm going to dump in this entire bag of floured beef in there and I'm going to turn up the heat a little bit because what we want to do is see this browning. So really all we're doing at this point here is we are browning the beef. So you're not cooking it, you are browning it. Now, while that's going on, while that is browning, I am going to chop my veggies. So the veggies that I'm putting in my stew today are as follows. I'm going to start off with some shallots. They're sweeter than onions so they have that lovely sweet oniony taste and they stay whole as well in the stew. I have four large cloves of garlic, with a stew, a Winter stew you really want to think of flavor. You really cannot get too much flavor int his stew. So the next thing that is going to go in is leek. They give it a flavor which is very leekish. So I've got a little bit of leek in there. I'm just going to check here on my beef, see how it's going. It's browning nicely. It's going to almost be ready for me to put all this thing together. That's beautiful, smelling delicious. So, there I've got all my onion family and garlic. I'm also going to add now some celery, two sticks of celery and I'm going to cut that, again it doesn't have to be too finely. That's absolutely good for me and then the last thing that I'm going to put into this stew today is I'm going to put some carrots in. So again, you can add to Winter stews any root vegetable in terms of turnips, parsnips, when you're doing your root vegetables, cut them quite bit because this is going to be on a slow cooking. So, it's going to be slow cooking for almost a day and the one thing I don't want to mush down, I want them to retain their shape is the vegetables, the root vegetables. Vegetables are all going to go in. This is what I do love about making Winter stew as well is it's actually so easy and it's really all about the cooking time. Now the next thing and arguably the most important component of an entire Winter stew is red wine. So, I'm going to put in, let's see about four or five tablespoons of red wine. Don't be lean with your red wine, go for it I say. I'm going to put in about a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar to give it a little sweet punch. I'm also going to put in a couple of tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce. I'm going to plunk in about two tablespoons of tomato paste or tomato paste or tomato puree and now I have a little secret ingredient that I think separates this stew from any other stew and that is I'm using some chilies, I'm using some ground up chilies. So I've got a tin of chilies from the market from the grocery store. These are actually called chipotle chilies, they're Mexican chilies but you can get a tin of any kind of chilies and what I do is I puree them up in the blender then I put them in an old jam jar or jelly jar and they keep in the fridge for up to six months and what I'm going to do, be very very careful because you want a tiny bit, because this is not, you don't want this to become some spicy knock your head off sort of stew, is to give it that sort of flavor, that smoky flavor that when you're eating it you go, ah, um what is that, not like, wo, that's hot. So I am going to put in about a quarter of a teaspoon, I really urge you to exercise caution here because you can always add more at the end, that's it. That's the secret ingredient and then finally the last thing that I'm going to do is put in some beef stock. You can use beef bullion cubes but I have some very nice organic beef broth here and I'm just going to put that in, enough just to come up, not to cover it but to come up to the top of the beef and the vegetables because it really will thicken and cook down considerably once we get going. Now, the next step that I'm going to do is just take it off the heat and I'm going to put it on my slow cooker and I'm going to allow it to cook on a medium heat for eight hours and that eight hours is going to allow the meat to soften and to come apart and the vegetables will stay intact. Alright, eight hours have passed and now let's have a look and see what's going on. That looks so incredible. It smells, you walk into my home and you smell this stew and immediately you just want to eat a huge bowl of it. So I'll serve it with baked sweet potatoes or baked regular potatoes or even some nice brown rice. So, you see how easy that was to make. It was healthy, it's beautiful, it's nutritious. So remember, you can always do it yourself much better. Do it gorgeously. I'm Sophie Uliano.