Tomato stew! Such a traditional dish and an old-fashioned favourite of mine. Succulent and flavourful beef cooked in a delicious and moreish tomato sauce. Perfect comfort food that you’ll want to share with the people you love.
The success of this dish hinges on the perfect balance of taste between sweetness and acidity. The sugar mellows the acidity of the tomatoes. Add the sugar in small quantities and continuously taste test. It’s very easy to add too much sugar and ruin the entire dish.
Serve on a bed of white long grain or basmati rice This is a comforting one-pot stew that can happily be shared at any time of the year.
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) cooking oil
- 3 large onions, finely chopped
- 1 kg stewing beef, cut into small portions
- 30ml (2 tablespoons) Bisto gravy powder
- 250ml (1 cup) cold water
- 10 medium potatoes, cut into quarters
- 50g sachet tomato paste
- 10 large ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) garlic, minced
- 2 fresh green chillies, finely sliced
- 15ml (1 tablespoon), plus 7.5ml (½ tablespoon) sugar, or to taste
- 1L (4 cups) boiling water
- Salt and pepper
- Heat the cooking oil in a large non-stick pot on high.
- Add the onions and sauté until soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Now add the stewing beef and braise until dark brown, about 20 minutes.
- Add 250ml (1 cup) of the boiling water when needed.
- Mix the Bisto gravy powder with the cold water and add to the pot.
- Reduce the heat and bring to a simmer.
- Now add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 10 minutes, adding 250ml (1 cup) of the boiling water when needed.
- Mix the tomato paste with 250ml (1 cup) of the boiling water and add to the pot.
- Now add the tomatoes, garlic, chillies and the sugar.
- Add the remaining boiling water when needed.
- Cook until the potatoes are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 45 minutes.
- Serve hot.
- No Bisto gravy powder on your side of the world? Replace it with any other available gravy powder, or 250ml (1 cup) of beef stock. Bisto gravy powder not only adds a rich depth of flavour, but also acts as a thickening agent. If you're not using it, thicken your sauce by coating your meat with 15ml (1 tablespoon) of flour whilst braising and browning.