We've had roast goose for the last couple of Christmases but this year, as the date approached, none of us were really attracted by the stress of trying to coordinate timing the cooking of a large bird with the process of marshalling ten people to the dining table to eat it. So I decided to make a stew instead. I wanted something with plenty of flavour, with a nice thick sauce and with some hints of Spain. This was what I came up with. (The anchovies don't give a fishy flavour, but just help to intensify everything else.)
3 kg beef
1 bottle of red wine
50g fresh rosemary stalks
1 head of celery
2 large onions
6 cloves of garlic
2 red peppers
3 tsps paprika
100g tomato puree
6 salted anchovy fillets
250g of olives, drained and rinsed
- Cut the beef into chunks, and place in a large bowl. Add the rosemary, olives and wine, mix well and leave to marinade in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, drain the meat in a colander, reserving the marinading liquid, rosemary stalks and olives. Leave the meat to dry for a few hours if possible.
- Brown the meat in batches in hot olive oil (about 0.5 kg at a time, depending on the size of your pan). Dredge the last two batches (about 1 kg of the meat) in flour before frying. (This will help to thicken the sauce of the casserole.) Transfer the cooked meat to a bowl.
- Meanwhile, transfer the marinading liquid, rosemary and olives to a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer until reduced by about 1/3. Remove the olives and rosemary. Set aside the olives to serve with the meat if you wnt to.
- Finely chop the celery, onions, garlic and red peppers, and sweat throroughly in plenty of olive oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole dish. When the vegetables are cooked, add the paprika and tomato puree, mix well, and add the reduced marinating liquid, the browned meat (together with any juices), and the finely chopped anchovy fillets.
- If cooking on the stove top, add 250 ml of water, bring to a very gentle simmer, cover and cook at a very low heat for about 3 hours, until the meat is tender. You will need to be careful that the flour does not burn, so you will need to keep a close eye on the stew, making sure you stir it from time to time, and adding a little extra water if necessary..
- If cooking in a casserole, preheat the oven to 150oC, cover the casserole dish and cook for about 3 hours, until the meat is tender.