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Because in food I trust. In all forms and shapes. 

Late summer beef stew

Late summer beef stew

In Latvia, we usually celebrate name days. Some people do not, but I do – always. Once, after coming back with the late flight from Paris just before midnight, we celebrated with a glass of champagne and fresh bread with butter. That’s all. The next day, I made a quick decision – opened the freezer, took out meat, and invited friends to come over the next day for a big casserole of beef stew. Well, actually two casseroles, as the other one was apple chicken stew. I expected around 20 guests. Six said yes but the others were ill. Needless to say, there was way too much stew, but that did not change the fact that they both were absolutely finger-licking good.

So here it is – late summer beef stew with all that is still in the garden when the cold fall comes to visit. Serve with on or with a slice of freshly baked bread, polenta, potatoes (I know that combo is not healthy but, my God, it is good), green beans, or eat just eat it like that.

Ingredients

50 ml olive oil for cooking
1 kg cheaper cut of beef, cut into 4 slices
100 g peeled shallots, chopped finely
500 g tomatoes, cut into larger pieces
50 g garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp tomato powder or tomato paste
1 tsp smoked paprika powder
1 tsp roughly crushed Malabar pepper
100 g raisins
12 g saffron
50 ml Grand Marnier or whiskey

for eggplant:
50 ml olive oil for cooking
500 g eggplant, cubed
sea salt to taste

Prepare

Heat the oven to 200°.

Heat a casserole I the stove until it's hot. Add 30 ml of oil. Fry the beef in the casserole without a lid until it is brown. Do this in batches. Take the pieces out of the casserole.

Add the rest of the oil. Add onion, turn the heat to the lowest, add salt and sauté for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste or powder, smoked paprika, pepper, raisins and saffron. Sauté for 10 minutes. Add the liquor and boil on the highest heat for 2 minutes (you can flame it if you wish). Remove almost everything, leaving just 1 cm of tomatoes. Add beef and pour over the tomato mixture. Cover, put into the oven for 30 minutes. Lower the heat to 160° and sauté for 5 – 6 hours. Take out the beef and shred it with two forks. Mix in with the sauce in the pot.

Heat the frying pan, add oil, and fry the eggplant until its is crispy brown and juicy. Add to the stew or serve it on top of the stew when plated.

Recipe and pictures: Signe Meirane
Plates, accessories from H&M Home
Photos taken with Sony alpha 7s

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