Look what’s stewing

The whole family’s still in the midst of battling the nasty cold monster. After a few days of eating this (in case you are wondering, that’s chicken congee with a touch of purple carrots- weird looking but very comforting!), The Dude and I were seriously craving for some hearty food, especially since the weather is getting a lot colder!

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So today, while Bugs occupied herself flipping through her latest favourite library finds….

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The Dude got down to the serious business of making us a warming bowl of mushroom, red wine and beef stew!

This was yet another recipe that we extracted out from the handy Australian Women’s Weekly slow cooker book I got gifted for Mother’s Day. It’s a little different from the beef and veg stew we did not too long ago. For one, there’s lots of fennel that goes into it….

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And quite a bit of bacon as well to give the dish that smoky depth of flavour.

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The surprising thing about the recipe for me was that besides needing (obviously) mushrooms, spring onions (and lots of them) were also a key ingredient in the stew!

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We sautéed off the vegetables and bacon as instructed before the red wine was added to the mix.

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This then went into our slow cooker where some beautiful stewing beef and a tiny mountain of chopped fennel were already waiting!

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A few hours of slow cooking later and our beef stew was finally ready! I did take a little longer to finish my meal as I spent some time savouring the flavours in my mouth – the smoky salty flavour from the bacon, the melt in your mouth beef, the aniseed flavour from the soft fennel all melded perfectly together in this awesome dish! Big change from the somewhat bland congee we’d been having the past few days!

I was so excited about tucking in that I kind of forgot to take pictures of the stew just after we had plated up (The things I learn from watching MasterChef!). This shot was taken after we were more than halfway through with the meal – the picture doesn’t do justice to what it looks like in real life but trust me on this when I say it was absolutely delicious!

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Have a hearty S-tewsday everyone!

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