1.4kg lean stewing beef, trimmed
Flour with salt & pepper added
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1 small butternut squash (200g), peeled and cubed (2cm)
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp dried oregano
A bouquet garni (4 parsley sprigs, 2 fresh thyme sprigs and 1 bay leaf, tied together) 1 pint Stout
1 can chopped tomatoes (400g)
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Irish rapeseed oil (or local)
for the cheese & leek scones (cobbler)
1 medium leek, sliced thinly
Knob butter plus oil for frying
250g self-raising flour
1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1⁄4 tbsp. rosemary; 1 3⁄4 tbsp. chives, chopped 150g grated cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
Extra flour for dusting
Egg wash, to glaze
Parsley for garnish
To make the stew, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4
Cut the meat into 1 1⁄2 inch cubes and toss in the seasoned flour. Heat some of the oil and fry the beef until browned on all sides. Place the meat into a heavy based casserole dish – a 28 – 30 cm diameter dish is perfect. Add some more oil to the frying pan and gently sauté the onions until softened.
Deglaze the pan with some of the stout and add along with the fried onions, butternut squash, stout and juices from the pan, the honey, mustard, chopped tomatoes, oregano, salt, pepper and bouquet garni to the casserole dish. Stir well and bring to the boil, cover, and place in the oven for about 1 1⁄2 hours or until the meat is tender
To make the scones, cook the leeks in the butter and oil until fully softened and a little caramelised on the edges, Remove from the heat and drain well.
Then add all the dry ingredients to a bowl, followed by 100g of the cheese and all the leek. Beat the egg into the milk and stir sufficient into the flour mix to form a dough, blending carefully, taking care not to over mix.
Dust the table with a little flour and place the cobbler mix on work surface. Flatten to about 11⁄2 cm and cut into 6cm circles approx. Increase the temperature of the oven to 210C/410F/gas 6/7 Remove the beef stew from the oven, at this point it’s important to check for seasoning and re- move the bouquet garni. And, if the liquid is brimming to the surface of the casserole dish, re- move a few tablespoons (this will be dependent on the depth of your casserole dish), in order to lay the cobbler scones on top.
Then and carefully place the scones around the edge, just very slightly overlapping and start fill- ing towards the centre, ensuring a gap in the centre for the steam to escape. Brush the top with the beaten egg and sprinkle the remaining cheddar cheese over. Return the dish to the oven (without the lid) and bake in the oven for about 17 minutes depending on the size.
Garnish with chopped parsley when serving.
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