Beef & Butterbean Stew in a Bread Bowl

It seems to be taking me ages to write this post, things are all over the place at the moment. My friend has given birth to twin girls, work has been mad and I’ve got a stinking cold, which in turn kills my appetite. I have however made Hubby’s year by getting him a ticket to meet Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and take part in the Pig in a Day course held at River Cottage HQ. This is preparation for the half a pig my smallholding friend is giving us after Christmas. Hubby, bless him, is so excited!

The inspiration for this dish came from the Dough cookbook Hubby had borrowed off a friend and thought a stew from this months Fresh magazine would be perfect in them. I admit I’m not a huge fan of stews as I find them boring, but this one was different. I made a double batch of the stew so we also had some the next day. The stew tasted even better the day after as the flavours had matured. I never thought I would say this but I would have this stew again.

The bread bowls worked better than expected, however next time I would grease the bowl better or use greaseproof paper to stop the bread sticking. It’s been nearly 2 months now since I’ve been making all of our bread at home and I never thought there would be such a significant difference when I came to taste mass produced bread again. At the weekend we were away and I had some supermarket french baguette, it tasted so sweet and a fluffy nothingness compared to the bread I make at home. My homemade bread is far more filling and tastier!

Bread Bowls
Makes 2 bowls
Adapted from Dough: Simple Contemporary Bread

250g strong bread flour
10g polenta
1 tsp dried yeast
pinch of sugar
1 tsp salt
25g olive oil
320g warm water

1) Activate the yeast in warm water and sugar. Leave for 15 min to froth. Stir the olive oil into the yeasty mix.

2) Mix together flour, polenta and salt then gradually add the yeasty water to make a dough. Kneed for 10 min by hand or 2 min by mixer. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.

3) Lightly oil the outside of 2 ovenproof bowls. Divide dough in half and roll into balls. Roll out each piece of dough into a circle 3-5mm thick. Shape ontop on the upturned bowls and press down to rid of air bubbles. Rest for 10 min.

4) Bake bowls at 200oc for 20-25 min until the bread bowls are golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes before carefully removing the bread from the bowls

Beef & Butterbean Stew
Serves 4
Adapted from Fresh Magazine

2 tbsp olive oil
750g stewing steak
1 onion, finely sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp hot smoked paprika
125ml red wine
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of butter beans
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
salt & pepper

1) In a deep casserole dish brown the stewing steak in the oil. Remove from the pan, set aside and fry onions and peppers in pan until softened.

2) Add the rest of the rest of the ingredients (apart from parsley & butterbeans) and simmer on a low heat for 3 – 3.5 hours, until beef begins to fall apart.

3) Stir in butterbeans and parsley then simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Published by Jules

Professional Food Geek who loves a freshly baked loaf.