“What’s for dinner?”
I knew the answer before hearing it from the aroma that filled the house and welcomed you as you walked through the door. Hash was the stew my Mum would make regularly during winter – it was tasty, warming, filling and cheap to make and went a long way. It comprised a cheaper cut of meat and lots of winter root vegetables but I always thought the best part was the gravy. It was so flavourful from all the vegetables and meat cooking away for so many hours until they were meltingly tender and had given up their flavour to meld into and form that beautiful thick gravy.
Fast forward several years and I find myself making Hash in my home for us to return to at the end of a winter’s working day. Opening the door, we are welcomed by that wonderful smell and our tastebuds are already enticed. It’s great that all you have to do after a long day is serve it up. And guess what? The gravy’s still the best bit!
Slow Cooked Winter Hash
750gm – 1kg Chuck Steak, diced into chunks
2 large Carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 Swede or Turnip, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 large Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and squashed but left whole
2 large Potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
10 Brussel Sprouts, outer leaves and base removed but left whole
2 Bay Leaves
500ml Beef Stock
3 tbspn Tomato Paste
A good glug of Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Make sure everything is cut into uniform chunks so it cooks evenly. Heat the olive oil in a large frypan. Dredge the meat chunks in seasoned flour and brown in the pan in batches and remove to a dish. Then add all the diced vegetables and garlic to the pan (you may need to add a little more oil) and brown slightly, scraping up any brown bits from the base of the pan.
Make a space in the pan and add the tomato paste and allow it to cook off for a minute and then add the beef stock and bay leaves followed by the glug of balsamic. Add the meat back in and bring up to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning and balsamic if necessary.
Pour the entire contents of the pan into your slow cooker, set the dial to low and go to work for eight to ten hours!
I also like to wilt some Tuscan kale or spinach through before serving just to add a little greenery.
This quantity will easily feed four, with leftovers for either seconds or lunch next day (the aroma of it reheating in the microwave will drive your workmates to distraction!).
If you don’t feel like preparing this in the morning before you go to work, you can always prepare it the night before and slow cook it overnight and then pop it in the fridge the next morning, ready to be reheated when you get home.
It really is the most satisfying winter meal.