Now, having never been to Lancashire and not having any relatives from there, I am hesitant to claim that this is in any way authentic. It’s merely inspired by the delightfully warming meal that our friends in the North invented.
The great thing with this dish is that you can substitute pretty much any meat or vegetables – you can really adapt it to your own tastes and available ingredients.
- Stewing Beef
- Sweet Potato
- Root Vegetables – carrots, parsnips, more potatoes, swede, squash etc.
- Red Wine
- Herbs and Seasoning
- Preheat your oven to 180C and prep all of your vegetables.
- Heat some butter in a deep saucepan. Cube your beef and coat it in flour and seasoning.
- Fry well until browned on the outside, then add the onion and mushrooms. Allow the water from the onions and mushrooms to cook out over a gentle heat.
- Add the rest of your vegetables and stir through. Throw in some more flour and stir through.
- Add a splash of red wine and allow to cook off, making a thick mixture in the bottom of the pan. After a minute or so add the cold stock and stir through, increasing the heat a little so it comes to a boil and thickens up.
- At this stage you just need to adjust and taste – add herbs, salt, pepper etc. I find a bit of balsamic vinegar adds a lovely sharpness. It’s all about making it as you like. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer, so the flavours all work together.
- In this time, slice up the sweet potato into very thin slices. Put in a bowl and coat in oil, then add various seasonings – herbs, salt etc.
- If not already in one, put the stew into an oven safe dish. Layer the top with the potato slices. Put in the oven, uncovered, and allow to cook away gently. To test if the potato is cooked simply take a single slice off and test the texture.
Really, the longer you allow it to cook the better the flavours will develop – if you worry the top will burn cover with tin foil.
- About 30 minutes before serving, grate some cheese on top of the potatoes.
- Cook to your liking then rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Serving and Storage
It’s quite nice to serve this inside its own dish in the middle of the table and allow people to serve themselves. Do try to make sure everyone gets a fair amount of potato toppings!
This will keep in a covered container in the fridge for no more than 3 days.