Oh dear - I've been neglecting the lovely blog! Forgive me ... what can I say or do, but merely plead Christmas madness and mayhem?
Anyhow, this evening I decided to finally try this recipe I've been thinking about for a while (I need to build up to these things). I wanted a wintery casserole, and a trawl of the excellently comprehensive BBC Food website left me inundated with choice. I finally chose this Rachel Allen recipe (A) because I've tried several of her recipes in the past and had a good result and (B) this one sounded like it had more of a beef bourguignon vibe and less of a straight forward stew, so that appealed to me too. Oh, and (C) it did not call for beef suet to make dumplings. (Sometimes the BBC is quite English, after all!).
The recipe suggested "stewing steak" but the local Tesco Express was ill-equipped to deal with such a request. The braising steak was already pre-diced, and I am not so keen on that - I like to be able to trim the meat as I go, and to decide the size of chunks I want and so on. So I bought a "round steak". I don't know too much about various cuts of beef but I know this is one that does need longer cooking but isn't as tough as what they call "chump steak" in the UK. So I decided to risk it - if it's not perfect, I can make notes for future reference.
Tesco Express also couldn't provide baby onions (in fairness, I wasn't expecting to find them in such a small branch) so I fished the smallest onions out of a bag and quartered them. I also added a few mushrooms - because I'd bought a punnet of posh looking "Tesco finest forrestiere mushrooms" and obviously had to try!
Anyhow, here's the recipe I used, including my own amendments in brackets - to start with, I was only cooking for two.
The weather might not be quite as wintery as such a dish demands, but it is dark and gloomy out there...