Here is a simple beef stew with eccentric flavor accents that are a twist on the more basic recipe. The addition of Dijon mustard, curry powder and Worcestershire sauce make savory additions without being obnoxious.
It is from Mary Berry, a British food writer, chef and television personality who with Paul Hollywood, was a judge for six years on the popular BBC show, The Great British Bake Off. Reruns show frequently on KQET and KQED and are fun if you like watching a varied group of contestants trying to outdo each other in making complicated pastries and breads, often, with disasters. She has published more than 75 cookbooks including “Entertaining with Mary Barry,” the source of this recipe.
Born March 24, 1935, she contracted polio at 13, an infectious disease that now is preventable with a vaccine. She spent three months isolated in a hospital. Because she couldn’t see her family during that time, she felt it toughened her up, and out of that vowed to make the most out of any opportunities that came her way. As a result of the disease, she was left with a twisted spine, a weaker left hand and a thinner left arm. Later, she developed her skills as a baker and a cook in her domestic science classes—what we called Home Economics—confessing that she was academically “hopeless.”
This dish can be prepared on the stove then baked in the oven in the same pan so be sure and use a frying pan that doesn’t have a plastic or wooden handle. It goes well with rice and a salad.
Hot mustard spiced beef
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2 pounds chuck steak cut into 1-inch square pieces
2 large onions, chopped
¼ pound mushrooms, washed, dried and sliced or quartered
¼ cup flour
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 1/3 cup beef stock or water
1 pound carrots, baby or regular cut into bite-sized chunks
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat, add the cooking oil. Add the cubes of chuck steak and fry for 4-5 minutes or golden brown. Stir and turn meat. When done, transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain off fats.
Chop onions and wash, dry and slice mushrooms. In the same pan, add the onions and mushrooms. Sauté for 3 minutes or until onions are starting to soften.
While onions and mushrooms are cooking, in a small bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire, curry powder and 1/3 cup stock or water. Whisk until smooth.
Add 2 cups of beef stock or water to the pan and bring to a boil. Add about half of the stock to the mustard mixture and whisk until smooth. Pour into the pan, whisking, and cook over high heat for 1-2 minutes, until mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper.
Add meat to the pan. Bring to a boil then cover and put in the oven for 1 ½ to 2 hours.
Cook carrots in boiling salted water for 5-7 minutes until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water.
When the meat is done, put the pan over medium-high heat on the stove. Bring to a boil and add carrots. Cook for 5 minutes. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley. Serves four to six.