Barbecue spiced beef stew with cheesy scone topping
- February 2019
- Serves 4-6
- Hands-on time 30 min, simmering time 2½ hours, oven time 15-20 min
A comforting, slow-cooked barbecue beef stew with a buttermilk and cheddar scone topping. Like when you’re baking dumplings on top of a stew, the scone topping on this develop a great crust while retaining a soft centre… Perfect for mopping up the juices.
- 47.4g (23.9g saturated)
- 52.9g (11g sugars)
For 6 servings
- 750g free-range British beef chuck steak, diced
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, cut into 1cm pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- 1 litre good quality beef stock, plus a little extra (optional)
For the barbecue seasoning
- 3 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp sea salt flakes
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
For the cheddar and buttermilk scones
- 10g fresh yeast (or 2 x 7g sachets fast-action dried yeast)
- 300g plain flour, plus extra to dust
- 150g butter, softened
- 150g mature cheddar, grated
- 20g fresh chives, finely chopped
- Large pinch sea salt flakes
- 200ml buttermilk
- 4 medium free-range egg yolks (see tips), plus 2 medium free-range eggs, beaten, to glaze
You’ll also need…
- Large flameproof casserole with a lid
- 6cm cutter
- Mix all the barbecue seasoning ingredients together in a bowl, then sprinkle enough over the beef to lightly coat (see tips).
- Heat a good splash of vegetable oil in the casserole over a high heat and sear the beef, in batches if necessary, so it gets some good colour all over. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside.
- Add another drizzle of oil to the casserole, add the onions, carrots, garlic and rosemary, then fry over a medium heat, stirring, for 8-10 minutes without colouring too much. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the tomato purée and cook for 3-4 minutes. Return the beef to the pan, sprinkle the flour over the top and stir in so it’s all coated nicely. Pour in the beef stock and bring to the boil, then put the lid on, reduce the heat and simmer on the lowest possible heat for 2½ hours, removing the lid for the final 30 minutes. Check the stew every 20 minutes or so and give it a stir
to check it’s not catching on the bottom. Add an extra splash of stock or water if the stew starts
to look at all dry.
- While the stew is cooking, make the scones. In a small bowl, mix the fresh (or dried) yeast with 1 tbsp water. If using dried yeast, also add a pinch of sugar. Stir to dissolve and set aside.
- Meanwhile, put the flour in a large bowl and rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips, then add half the cheddar, the chives and salt until well combined. Add the yeast mixture, buttermilk and egg yolks, then mix together until a dough forms (see tips).
- Roll or pat out the dough on a lightly floured work surface until 4cm thick, then cut out 8 rounds with the cutter, re-forming the dough gently as needed.
- Put the scones on a baking sheet lined with non-stick baking paper, then chill until needed. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. When the stew is ready, check the seasoning again, then carefully arrange the scones on top. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle over the rest of the grated cheddar. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then serve.
Make the stew up to 3 days ahead and keep covered in the fridge, or freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, reheat until piping hot, then complete the recipe.
The leftover seasoning mix makes a great addition to grilled fish or meat and even roast veg. Keep it in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze in a food bag for up to 2 months.
Freeze the leftover egg whites in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Mark the bag with the number of whites and the date. Use to make meringues, macaroons and mousses or to glaze pastry.
The stew is hearty stuff, which demands a ripe, full-bodied red. A southern French fitou or minervois fits the bill.
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