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Beef & Mushroom Stout Stew with Colcannon

BY Karl Tessendorf

Colcannon is basically mashed potato with spinach, cabbage or kale and pairs deliciously with beef shin.

  • Makes : 6 |
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 60 mins |
  • Cook Time : 3:30 hours
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The Stew
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 anchovies, finely chopped
2 Tbsp (30 ml)  tomato pureé
1 large onion, diced
250 g diced bacon
1 whole beef shin, sliced by your butcher
(about 2 kg)
a splash of oil for frying
¼ C (60 ml) flour
2 C (500 ml) Guinness Stout
2 C (500 ml) good quality beef stock
5 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
2 Tbsp (30 ml) chutney
12 baby onions, peeled
500 g portobello mushrooms, halved
salt and pepper to taste

The Colcannon
6 large potatoes, peeled and diced
a knob of butter
½ C (125 ml) cream
2 Tbsp (30 ml) Dijon mustard
5 spring onions chopped (only the green tops)
splash of olive oil
250 g baby spinach
salt and pepper to taste

The Stew

Combine the chopped garlic, anchovy and tomato pureé in small bowl and set aside.

Fry the onions in a medium sized frying pan over a moderate heat for 5 minutes. Then add the diced bacon and fry until the onions start to get a golden colour and the bacon is cooked. Take the pan off the heat and set aside.

Carefully cut the meat from the bones and dice into cubes. Trim and discard any large pieces of fat. Set the marrow bones aside for use later. In a large cast iron saucepan (Dutch oven) or casserole dish heat a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Individually place the chunks in the saucepan without touching each other. Sear the meat on all sides until it has a crust. Use a pair of tongs to rotate the meat rather than just stirring it with a spoon. This step is crucial to building flavour in the dish. The crust is what gives the meat flavour, it’s the same principal as cooking a steak. Do this in batches and don’t overcrowd the saucepan.

Preheat the oven to 230 ºC.

Line a baking tray with foil and place the marrow bones on the tray. Roast in the oven for approximately 15 minutes. (The fat in the marrow bones will start to render slightly, this can be poured into the pot from the tray).

When the last batch of meat is seared, add the rest of the meat back into the saucepan, along with the onion and bacon mix, and the garlic, anchovy and tomato mixture. Stir fry for 1 minute until fragrant then add the flour. Stir fry for another minute to cook the flour. Add the beer to deglaze the saucepan and stir to scrape off any bits that are stuck to the pot.

Next add the stock, thyme, bay leaves and marrow bones, ensuring that you add any rendered marrow bone fat from the tray as well. Turn the heat down to a simmer and place the lid on the pot askew. Let the stew simmer for 2 ½ hours and stir occasionally. At the 2 ½ hour mark, stir in the chutney, and then add the baby onions and mushrooms. Replace the lid askew and simmer for another 30 minutes. Check the onions, if they are still a little firm, continue to simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Season to taste.

The Colcannon    

Boil the peeled potatoes in salted water in a medium size saucepan over high heat for about 15-20 minutes or until soft. Drain well using a colander, and then return the potatoes to the pot over a medium heat for about 3 minutes. Stir the potatoes in the pot with a large spoon to break down. Any remaining water will cook out during this process (water makes for soggy mash and no one likes that).

Remove from the heat and add the butter, cream and mustard. Mash the potato until the desired consistency is reached. I like mine a little chunky.

In a large frying pan heat a splash of olive oil and add the spinach leaves. Wilt the spinach for a minute or two and then remove from the heat. Tilt the pan and use a large spoon to compress the spinach to get rid of excess moisture. Fold the wilted spinach and spring onion into the mash then season to taste.

Serve the colcannon topped with a generous helping of beefy shin and mushroom stew.

Read the story behind this dish HERE.