Slow-cooked Nature's Fresh chuck beef with charred tomatoes and tawny
1.4kg Natures Fresh chuck beef in large pieces
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 brown onions, very finely diced
2 sticks celery, very finely diced
2 carrots, very finely diced
8 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 bunch thyme leaves
4 bay leaves
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup tawny
1L beef stock
sea salt flakes and freshly-ground black pepper
4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 bunch parsley, very finely chopped
8 ripe tomatoes, halved
cooking oil spray
Drizzle the beef with 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, then sear on a hot griddle until very well browned on all sides. Set aside.
Sauté the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, fennel seeds, thyme and bay leaves in a large heavy-based saucepan set over a moderate heat for 10 minutes, until well-softened. Mix in the tomato paste, cook briefly, then pour in the tawny and stock and simmer gently.
Add the beef to the saucepan, season with salt and pepper, then simmer for 3 hours, topping up the water as need, until very tender. Mix in the spinach and parsley.
Sprinkle the tomatoes with cooking oil spray then cook on a hot ribbed griddle for 10 minutes, until very well-blackened, chop, and stir into the stew.