Manu’s French Beef & Beer Stew
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
1.5kg oyster blade steak, cut into 4cm pieces
100g piece speck, cut into lardons
3 carrots, peeled, sliced
3 parsnips, peeled, finely chopped
2 brown onions, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1L Campbell’s Real Stock Salt Reduced Beef
30g tomato paste
1 tbsp chopped fresh continental parsley
Crispy Potato Top
750g potatoes, peeled, cut into 3mm-thick slices
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
***This easy, slow cooker version of Manu Feildel’s dish was found on Taste.com.au***
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add one-third of the beef and cook, turning, for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to the bowl of a 6L slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef in 2 more batches.
Add the speck to the pan. Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes or until golden and crisp. Add the carrot, parsnip, onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring often, for 5-10 minutes or until onion has softened. Season. Transfer to the slow cooker.
Add the stock, beer and tomato paste to the pan. Bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon so it doesn’t catch and burn. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half. You’ll need about 500ml (2 cups). Pour into the slow cooker. Cover. Set the slow cooker on High and cook for 3 hours.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C/200 fan forced. Trace around the base of the slow cooker bowl on a piece of baking paper. Turn the paper over and place, ink-side down, on a large baking tray.
Combine potatoes in a large bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the thyme. Season. Toss to combine. Spread the potato slices, overlapping, inside the circle. Bake for 45-50 minutes until golden.
Combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining oil and thyme in a bowl. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the potato slices and bake for 10 minutes or until the top is crunchy and golden. Stir the parsley into the slow cooker.
Using a large spatula, carefully lift the potato top onto your slow-cooked stew. Serve.