Immune Boosting Beef Stew

Immune Boosting Beef Stew

We have created this nourishing immune boosting stew to pack a nutritious punch during colder months. It combines lean beef, rich in iron which is important for keeping red blood cells healthy, and provides a great hit of protein. The gentle spicing adds a interesting exotic warmth, as well as providing useful antioxidants. We love turmeric, something of a nutritional superhero, and we are learning more and more about its valuable properties for health. Tomatoes, peppers and carrots provide a welcome vitamin C boost, and stock is beneficial in supporting digestive, and therefore immune, health. This is delicious served with roasted butternut squash or baked sweet potato.

500g diced beef
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 celery stick, finely diced
1 large tin of plum tomatoes (approx 400ml)
3 pequilo peppers (approx 150g - they are skinned and jarred)
1 large garlic clove, crushed or pasted
1 tsp turmeric
250ml chicken stock, fresh or homemade
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 whole star anise
Rapeseed oil for frying

Preheat the oven to 180C.
Start by browning the beef in a casserole dish or saucepan. It is easiest to do this in batches to make sure you don't over-crowd the pan. Remove the beef from the pan and if the pan is dirty add a little water to the pan and scrub off with your wooden spoon.
Place the casserole dish or saucepan back on to a low heat and begin by sweating your onion in a little rapeseed oil. When soft, add the carrots and celery and cook out for a few minutes.
Add the beef back into the pan.
Next add the garlic and turmeric and cook out on a gentle heat for up to a minute, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the tomato puree and stir. Next, carefully pour in the chicken stock and add the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle in the oregano and add the star anise, stir the beef back into the dish.
Bring up to the boil and then down to a gentle simmer and place the lid back on.
Place in the oven and leave to simmer gently for up to 2 hours or until the meat is tender and beautifully soft. If it is not soft enough simply place back in the oven for longer. Most importantly, make sure the meat is not boiling as boiled meat equals chewy meat. Add in your chopped peppers at this stage - adding earlier could cause them to mush slightly so I find just at the end works best.
If the sauce is too liquid, remove the lid and allow to gently simmer on a low to medium heat.

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