When it’s cold outside there’s nothing better than a hot, savoury stew for dinner with lots of carbs to fill you up. You can choose whatever meat you prefer for a warming stew, but if you like to stay seasonal some British farmers begin winter lambing in early December.
Now, everyone has their own recipe whether it’s with dumplings, bread to dip or potatoes, but we wanted to find out how to make the best stew for our families.
Here at the Daily Star, we spoke to chef Ben Ebbrell, founder of SORTEDFood on Youtube, to find out his top tips. Ben likes his stew to contain beef or lamb and so his advice will work with either – and it might surprise you too.
And, he even threw in some advice on making smooth and rich mashed potatoes to serve alongside the stew.
Speaking to the Lifestyle team, Ben said: “Tinned or jarred anchovies will become your best friend in slow cooked meaty stews. Just one or two is not enough to make it fishy, but it adds a real depth to the dish from the salty umaminess that the anchovies offer.
“If you have the opportunity to get ahead… do!
“Make the stew the day before you need it and let it cool to room temperature then whack it in the fridge overnight in a sealed container. When you reheat it the following day it’ll be even better as the flavours have had time to mingle and integrate more.”
Leaving foods rich with herbs and meaty flavours overnight will often enhance the taste – this tip works with curry and casseroles too.
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Ben continued: “If you think mashed potatoes can be a bit boring… then why not flavour the water you cook them in.
“You will drain most of the water away when they are cooked, but you’d be surprised how much the potatoes absorb.
“Use a chicken stock cube, or a couple of crushed cloves of garlic or even a sprinkle of creole spice to mix up the final mash. After boiling the garlic cloves will be soft enough to mash into the mixture anyway.”
After following Ben’s tips go ahead and mash your potatoes with whatever additions you like.
We recommend using plenty of proper salted butter – more than you think – and a dash of heavy cream.
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