Call me crazy, but I actually love that time of year when the weather shifts into woolly scarf season, publications stop advising you on how to lose weight and bare skin and start actively encouraging you to snuggle under layers and tuck into hearty winter food. For me, Bonfire night signals that start of winter and provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate; a night to wrap up warm, nurse a cup of mulled wine by a large fire and indulge in something rich for dinner. So, here is my favourite recipe to feed a group for fireworks night –a warming casserole with my own Spanish twist…
Aimee’s Spanish Syrah Stew
900g braising steak, cut into squares
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 heaped spoon plain flour
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 ring chorizo, sliced
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 bottle Spanish Syrah, or similar red wine
350g shallots, peeled and whole
4 piquillo peppers, sliced
2 x 400g tins butter beans, drained
Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 180°C (Gas Mark 4)
- Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish or oven proof pot. Add the beef and cook over a medium heat until browned. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the flour and combine with the oil and meat juices. Add the sliced onion, garlic and peppers and cook until softened.
- Add the Chorizo and paprika and simmer for 4 minutes. Return the meat to the pot and add butter beans.
- Pour in the entire bottle of wine. If it does not cover the other ingredients, add some water.
- Season with salt and pepper, then cover and place in the oven. Cook for 2-2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
I like to serve this dish with buttery garlic mashed potatoes and curly kale. My ideal wine pairing would be a hearty bottle from my favourite Toledo Bodega: Finca Loranque Syrah –Tempranillo 2006, with its jammy dark berry aromas and subtle kicks of spice.