Slow Cooked Beef & Mushroom Stew with Polenta Recipe | Abel & Cole
Slow Cooked Beef & Mushroom Stew with Polenta
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Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 1 hr 50 mins-6 hrs 10 mins
This hearty midwinter stew is full of deep, rich flavour thanks to the dried porcini and fresh mushrooms, as well as our tender organic beef. Spoonfuls of golden polenta makes the perfect base for soaking up all the rich, Italian flavours.
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436 kcal
(per portion)
Ingredients you'll need
  • 12g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 500g diced beef braising steak
  • 2 onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 200g chestnut mushrooms
  • 400g tomatoes
  • 500g potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A handful of thyme
  • 100g polenta
From your kitchen
  • 1.2 ltrs boiling water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp water (optional)
You'll need
Step by step this way
  • 1.

    Tip the dried porcini into a heatproof jug. Crumble in the beef stock cube. Pour in 750ml boiling water and stir to dissolve the beef stock cube. Set aside.

  • 2.

    Warm a large frying pan (or large casserole dish or pan if you are cooking the stew on the hob) for 2 mins, then add 1 tbsp oil and the beef. Fry for 5-6 mins, turning every so often, till the beef is browned all over.

  • 3.

    While the beef fries, peel and finely chop the onions. Trim and peel the carrots and slice them into 1cm-thick rounds. Trim the dry ends off the celery, and slice the celery. From this point on, follow the method for the slow cooker or the hob.

  • 4.

    In the slow cooker^ Tip the beef into a 3½ ltr slow cooker and add the chopped veg. Thickly slice the mushrooms. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Peel and roughly chop the potatoes. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Add them to the dish. Drop in the bay leaf and the thyme sprigs, keeping a few leaves back for garnishing. Season with salt and pepper.

  • 5.

    Pour the porcini and beef stock into the slow cooker. Pop a lid on the slow cooker, set it to medium and cook the stew for 6 hrs. For a faster stew, set it to high and cook for 4-5 hrs or cook the stew on low for 8 hrs.

  • 6.

    When the stew has 20 mins left, pour 650ml boiling water into a large pan and bring back to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, then slowly pour in the polenta, whisking as you go, till the polenta is smoothly combined. Cover, turn the heat down and simmer the polenta for 5 mins till it’s thick.

  • 7.

    Take the polenta off the heat and leave it in the pan for 5 mins, with the lid on, to let the polenta thicken and cool a little.

  • 8.

    Taste the stew and season if needed. Scoop the polenta into warm bowls, then ladle over the stew (discarding any herb sprigs you find). Serve the stew garnished with thyme leaves.

  • 9.

    On the hob^ Pop the browned beef on a plate. Add the veg to the pan or casserole dish with 2 tbsp water. Fry, stirring now and then, for 5-8 mins till softening.

  • 10.

    While the veg fry, thickly slice the mushrooms. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Peel and roughly chop the potatoes. Peel and grate or crush the garlic. Add them all to the pan. Return the beef to the pan. Drop in the bay leaf and thyme sprigs, keeping a few leaves back. Season.

  • 11.

    Pour the porcini and beef stock into the dish. Stir to mix, then pop on a lid. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 1½ hrs.

  • 12.

    When the stew has 20 mins left, pour 650ml boiling water into a large pan and bring back to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, then slowly pour in the polenta, whisking as you go, till the polenta is smoothly combined. Cover, turn the heat down and simmer the polenta for 5 mins till it’s thick.

  • 13.

    Take the polenta off the heat and leave it in the pan for 5 mins, with the lid on, to let the polenta thicken and cool a little.

  • 14.

    Taste the beef stew and add a pinch more salt or pepper if you think it needs it. Scoop the polenta into warm bowls, then ladle over the stew (discarding any herb sprigs you find). Serve straight away, with any remaining thyme leaves sprinkled over the top.

  • Tip

    Eat & keep
    You can store this stew in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze it for 3 months. Divide the polenta and stew into individual portions and cool it, then chill or freeze it in airtight tubs. Defrost the stew completely before reheating, and make sure it's piping hot when you reheat it.

  • Tip

    Polenta power
    You will probably end up with a thin crust of polenta cooked on to your pan after you have simmered it. Don't worry - it's easy to clean off. Just fill your pan with warm water and a little washing up liquid and leave to soak for 30 mins. The layer of polenta will lift off in one piece.

  • Tip

    Next week...
    Fill your kitchen with the fragrant scent of Spiced Chicken Thighs Braised with Sweet Potatoes. Spiked with oregano, cumin, chilli and garlic, this is an aromatic stew full of warming winter flavours.