My dish was almost a one-pot meal; certainly a balanced one. Apart from the meat (beef braising steak), I included onion, garlic, home-grown leeks, mushrooms and (star of the show) home-grown carrots. Just for good measure I topped the dish with some suet dumplings containing lots of home-grown Parsley:
Jane told me how to make the dumplings. Add 50g of suet to 100g of self-raising flour, add a pinch of salt, chopped herbs if desired and enough water to make a soft dough. Form the dough into balls and drop them into the stew about 35 minutes before serving-time, ensuring that they are at least 50% submerged. When they are cooked they are a little bit crispy on the top, but soft inside. Yummy!
For added comfort-factor I made some mashed potato in another pan. Our mashed potato these days is always lump-free since we bought a potato-ricer. This is a gadget a bit like a giant garlic-crusher, which allows you to pass cooked potatoes through a sort of sieve arrangement. It comes out really smooth. And of course we add a little butter and milk to make it silky smooth, and a little freshly-milled black pepper to season it!
The carrots certainly lived up to expectations. They were sweet and tasty and despite being very soft because of long cooking, they held their shape well.
In retrospect, it's perhaps a shame that I didn't accompany the dish with a few Brussels Sprouts. From an aesthetic point of view, something green would have made the perfect finishing touch.
I nearly forgot to mention... As you know, Jane and I are partial to the odd drop of vino, so on this occasion I felt it appropriate to serve what we call "a good chunky red" - one with lots of body - so I chose this:
As you can perhaps make out, this wine is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, so easily robust enough to stand up to braised beef. Job done!