Caribbean Beef and Black Bean Stew DF

40 minutes 3 hours 4 servings

The key to a good stew is to be patient. Patiently let the meat caramelise, patiently let it bubble away in the oven until the meat becomes fall apart tender. If you can have patience you will have a delightfully hearty stew that is full of flavour. This particular stew has a Caribbean flavour thanks to cinnamon, allspice and a tin of black beans – the final results are worth the wait!

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  • 3 tablespoon cold-pressed rapeseed oil
  • 800g braising steak, cubed
  • 3 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons chunky salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice (freshly ground for best flavour)
  • ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Epicure Sun Dried-Tomato Paste
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 1 tin Epicure Italian Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tin Epicure Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • small bunch thyme (about 10 sprigs)
  • To Serve
  • cooked rice

The recipe Caribbean Beef and Black Bean Stew Kitchen Mode

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 170ºC, Gas Mark 3.

  • 2

    Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Add the beef ⅓ at a time, in a single layer. Allow to cook on one side until browned then flip and cook another 1–2 minutes to brown on the other side. Remove to a plate and continue the process with the remaining beef. You do not want to overcrowd the pan or the beef won’t brown. The browning caramelizes the beef and creates sucs in the pan – these are what add the umami flavour to the stew. The darker they are the more flavour they provide, but you don’t want them to burn, you can protect the sucs by adding additional oil as necessary and by lowering the heat if they start to catch too much.

  • 3

    Once all of the beef has been cooked, remove it all to a plate. Turn down the heat to medium and add another tablespoon of oil, if needed. Tip in the celery, carrots and onions, along with 1 teaspoon of salt. Let cook for 5 minutes until the onions have softened, scraping the sucs off of the bottom of the pan as the veggies release their juices.

  • 4

    Add the allspice, pepper and tomato paste, and give it a good stir. Let cook for 1–2 minutes to release their aroma.

  • 5

    Stir in the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, beef stock, chopped tomatoes, black beans, ½ teaspoon salt, along with the beef and any accumulated juices. Raise the heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering take off the heat, cover with a lid and place on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 2 hours.

  • 6

    After 2 hours remove the stew from oven. Carefully fish out the cinnamon sticks. Add 2 tablespoons of flour to a small bowl. Add a ladle of the hot broth, a little at a time, making sure there are no lumps after each addition. You should have a thick but pourable consistency. Stir this into the stew. Add the thyme, nestling it into the sauce. Put the stew back in the oven, uncovered, and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until the meat is fall apart tender and sauce has thickened

  • 7

    Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving.

  • 8

    Serve with rice and/or a slice of crusty bread.