The food side of things has been a little slack around here lately. And by 'around here' I mean both here on the blog and here in my house. Oh we've been eating all right. Lots of chocolate mostly! Seriously. LOTS of chocolate. But real food? Hmmm...
When I found this recipe I planned to tweak it a little and do it in the slow cooker but between the school run, a trip to the chemist, painting Mr Six's bedroom and a hair appointment the morning kind of got away from me. With not enough time to do the slow cooker thing I ended up having to... get ready to gasp in horror... follow the recipe!
This was fabulous. I don't tend to have fantastic results with stove-top cooked casserole type dishes but this turned out perfectly. It was delicious, tender, filling and just all round good. And the scones on top were a big hit. I didn't have any fresh thyme so I made mine Rosemary Scones instead. Fabulous. Yep, it's another to add to the repeat list.
Beef Hotpot with Thyme Scones
from Good Taste magazine, August 2008
2 Tbsp olive oil
800g beef chuck steaks, cut into 2cm pieces
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp plain flour
250ml (1 cup) beef stock
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
2 carrots, peeled, halved, thickly sliced (I added about the same amount of beans)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
225g (1 1/2 cups) self raising flour
30g butter, chopped
1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
125ml (1/2 cup) milk
1. Heat half the oil in a flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add one-third of the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate. Repeat, in 2 more batches, with the remaining beef.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Heat the remaining oil in the dish. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until onion softens Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Add the stock. Stir with a flat-edged wooden spoon to dislodge any bits that have cooked onto the base. Add the beef, tomato, carrot (and beans) and Worcestershire sauce. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered for 1 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender.
4. Meanwhile, to make the scones, preheat oven to 190C. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the milk. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until just combined. Use your hands to bring dough together. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball.
5. Arrange the scones on top of the beef mixture. Bake in oven, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the scones are golden brown. Serve immediately.