Beef stew with aubergine and apricots.

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  • 1kg/2lbs stewing beef cut into good sized chunks- shin is best.
  • 2 aubergines, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large sweet potato, shredded or cut into small cubes
  • 2 large carrots, shredded or cut into slices
  • 500g/1lb tomatoes, deseeded and chopped up
  • 2 tsp celtic sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 100g/4oz dried apricots
  • Big glug of Marsala wine
  • Celtic sea salt and black pepper

Serves 4 – 6

  1. Put the aubergine chunks into a colander, sprinkle with the 2 tsps of salt and leave to bleed. If the stew is going to have to be constructed in one hit,  do this ½hour before starting preps for this stew.  If we are about, but can fiddle with the stew half way through the cooking time, then the aubergines can be left to salt when we begin preps for the stew.
  2. Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan – enough olive oil to just about cover the base.
  3. Add the chunks of beef with the cumin, coriander, ginger and cloves. Stir it all about for a minute or so, then add the sweet potato and carrots.  More stirring.
  4. Finally add the tomatoes and Marsala wine, cover and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and leave simmering.
  5. If the stew is going to be left for several hours, you will also need to add water and turn the heat as low as possible.

The aubergines and apricots.

  1. Ideally, the stew is left for an hour, then the aubergines are stir fried in a little olive oil, and added to the stew with the apricots, and then the stew is left for a further hour or so.
  2. Sometimes we just aren’t around to fiddle about like this. In which case, the aubergines need frying and adding, along with the apricots, to the stew with the tomatoes and Marsala wine.  Then the whole lot can be left for as many hours as needed.  Make sure there is enough liquid  – so the  stew will need to be quite soupy at the start.

As usual, when the time comes to serve up, check the seasoning and adjust if needed.  Then serve in a nice big bowl with a green vegetable or two.

I actually made this stew with dried cranberries because I had no dried apricots in the house.

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