I love fresh, in-season produce. Simply nothing beats cooking with ingredients that have come straight off a farm.
I was lucky enough recently to be given a bunch of fresh plums from one of my mothers group friends whose family has an orchard.
Apart from simply tasting amazing, plums are a really rich source of antioxidants. Plums are also super high in vitamin C and help the body to absorb iron, which makes them perfectly paired with beef. They are also high in vitamin A, fibre and potassium.
This dish is relatively simple to whip up but the slow-cooking part does take a little bit of time. From start to finish you should have a tasty slow-cooked stew on your plate in just over two-hours, but if you’re short on time you could always just chuck everything in a slow cooker at the start of the day and have a delicious meal waiting for you when you get home.
This is also a great dish for when your child is new to solids because it purees really well.
It’s perfect with some mashed sweet potato or pasta.
I really wish you could smell how good my house smells right now filled with this amazing stew. I almost didn’t want to share it. Almost.
* 500g plums
* 500g diced beef
* 2 medium carrots
* 2 medium celery sticks
* 1 brown onion
* 2 cups low salt beef stock
* 2 cups water
* 1/2 cup whole green lentils
* 1 teaspoon garlic
* 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves (1/2 tablespoon if using dried leaves)
* 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* 2 tablespoons cornflour
1. Rinse carrot and celery and roughly dice. I leave the skin on the carrot for extra nutrients however if you prefer, peel the carrots.
2. Roughly dice the onion.
3. Wash plums and cut into wedges, discarding the seeds.
4. Remove rosemary leaves from stalks and roughly chop.
5. Heat oil in a large thick bottomed saucepan with a lid (I use a le crusset) and cook carrot, onion, celery and garlic on medium heat for about five minutes or until slightly softened.
6. Add beef and cook until just browned.
7. Add cornflour and stir beef until coated.
8. Place plums, stock, water, lentils and rosemary in saucepan, cover with lid and bring all the ingredients to the boil.
9. Move the saucepan to the smallest element on the stovetop and leave to cook, covered, on low heat for 1.5 hours. Stirring occasionally to ensure ingredients don’t burn on the bottom of the saucepan.
10. In the last 15 minutes of cooking turn up heat slightly, remove lid and allow mixture to thicken. Stir more frequently during this step to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn.
11. Spoon mixture into a food processor and whiz for a minute or until stew is of a desired consistency. Alternatively you can also use a stick blender.
* If you are short on time, simply chuck all the ingredients into a slow cooker and leave to cook for the day.
* This is great with steamed and mashed sweet potato or pasta.
* It freezes well.
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