This Beef Hot Pot with Onions recipe is a fantastic warming meal for the family

1-11/4 kg beef chuck or buy a mixture of chuck and shin (better to cube it yourself at home)
3 T (45 ml) olive or canola oil
3 t (15 ml) Ina Paarman’s Meat Spice
2 t (10 ml) Ina Paarman’s Garlic Pepper
2 T (30 ml) Ina Paarman’s Brown Onion Soup and Gravy Powder
750 g shallots or baby or pickling onions, peeled
1 x 340 ml can of beer
1 cup (250 ml) water
1 T (15 ml) Ina Paarman’s Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
3 cloves of garlic, cut into slices
1 bay leaf
fresh lemon juice (to taste)
1 short French loaf
wholegrain mustard

How to
Position oven rack one shelf below the middle and set the oven at 160C. Cut the meat into neat 3 cm cubes. The reason why it is best to cut your own meat is that so-called ‘stewing steak’ sold in the supermarkets often contain a mixture of beef cuts, each with different characteristics.

Over high heat warm up a solid ovenproof saucepan or a flat bottomed potjie. Add oil and brown the meat in 2 or 3 batches. Remove browned meat with a slotted spoon to a plate and toss with a mixture of the seasonings and Brown Onion Soup Powder. Add a little more oil and brown the onions. Shake the pot to roll the onions, so they can brown all round. Add the garlic when the onions have browned. Add a dash of the beer to the onions now and again just to prevent burn-on. The rest of the beer is added later.

Add water, sun-dried tomato pesto, remaining beer and the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, add the previously browned meat. Place a secure lid on the pot and bake at 160C for 3 hours. Can be pre-prepared to this stage.

Spread a thick layer of mustard on one side of the slices of French bread. After 2 1/2 – 3 hours of baking, remove the pot from the oven. Set the oven for 200C. Taste for seasoning and add lemon juice for freshness. Pack the bread over the meat to fit snugly. Bake for another 20 minutes without the lid just to crisp the bread.

By: Ina Paarman

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