One of the boys favourite winter meals is a hearty beef stew, it’s something I’ve been cooking for years now, and since I got a slow cooker (or crock-pot) last year it’s been a regular in our weekly menus, something I can pretty quickly throw together the night before, or first thing in the morning and leave to gently bubble away in the slow cooker for the day. There is nothing better than coming home from a hard days work to find a hot and hearty meal ready to be served.
I was sent a bottle of Eisberg Cabernet Sauvignon to try and I thought it’d work really well in my beef in red wine stew. Eisberg is an alcohol free wine, so if you’re worried about using alcohol in your cooking if children will be eating it (even though any alcohol would usually be burned off during the cooking process), if you’re counting calories, or if you’re avoiding alcohol for other reasons, then this alcohol free wine is a good option.
My recipe for beef in red wine is really flexible and pretty quick to put together. I usually use shin of beef or braising steak, these are both good for really long, slow cooking and are very tender once cooked, and so delicious my five year old makes short work of it.
- 1 bottle of red wine, I used Eisberg alcohol free wine
- 1400g Braising steak, in chunks
- 3 large carrots
- 3 parsnips
- 2 sticks of celery
- 8 shallots
- 1 stock cube
- 1 dessert spoon of tomato puree
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil (or similar)
- Salt & pepper
- Add salt and pepper to the flour and toss the beef chunks in the seasoned flour and fry the beef in the oil (in batches) until browned. Set aside.
- While the beef is cooking switch on the slow cooker and put it on high, add the bottle of red wine (less one glass) to the pot.
- Chop the carrots, celery and parsnips into bitesize pieces and put into the slow cooker. Peel the shallots and add those to the slow cooker.
- Once all the beef is browned put it in the slow cooker with the bay leaves, sugar, tomato puree, stock cube and some more seasoning.
- Deglaze the pan with the glass of red wine and add that to the slow cooker too.
- Leave the slow cooker on high for two hours, or until you need to leave the house, then turn it down to low. The stew can be eaten after 5 or 6 hours, but if you can cook it for a bit longer then that's always going to be better.
- Towards the end of the cooking I spoon out some of the liquid and mix it with any of the remaining seasoned flour and add that paste back into the pot, this helps to thicken the gravy.
- When you're nearly ready to eat, taste and check the seasoning, adding more if you think it needs it. Serve with buttery mash and vegetables.
- You can easily change what vegetables you use, root vegetables are always lovely in this, it's great with swede if you have some or even new potatoes. You could use large chunks of onion instead of shallot if you'd like. It's very forgiving and very flexible.
Made with alcohol free Eisberg, this really helps to cut the calories down in this hearty stew. At just 36 calories a (125ml) glass (compared to an average of 158 calories for standard red wine) this is a great option for people counting their calories. Eisberg is available from a range of retailers including major supermarkets.
Note: We were sent the Eisberg wine for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.