As the colder months approach, it’s time to dust off your casserole dishes or slow-cookers and embrace the season with slow cooked recipes, which are perfect for using cheaper cuts of meat such as braising steak, stewing steak, brisket and chuck steak. I am a big fan of slow cooking, and find that as they gently simmer away, it gives me a chance to get on with other household chores.
Irish beef is a favourite in our house, and I love using chuck steak for flavour and texture. Irish beef comes from grass-fed animals which is the secret behind the fabulous full flavour you get from this type of beef; chuck steak, which is a cut from the shoulder of the animal requires very slow cooking in order to tenderise it and break down the fibrous texture, but you will be rewarded with beef dish that has an amazing flavour, and is easier on the housekeeping allowance!
This recipe for 'Winter beef braise with redcurrant port sauce' uses the chuck steak and is cooked in a slow cooker all day for optimum tenderness and taste. The beef is braised for between 6 and 8 hours in a fruity redcurrant and port sauce, and towards the end I also pop some dumplings in to cook for the last hour – the fluffy dumplings then soak up the rich beefy juices and add to the overall comfort of the dish.
The recipe is shared below, with the dumplings as an optional extra; serve this delicious slow-cooked Irish beef recipe with steamed cabbage, buttered carrots and Irish champ or mashed potatoes. You can also serve some extra redcurrant sauce or jelly on the side for an extra sweet and fruity kick, with a little glass of port for the adults if you wish!
NB: Alternative cooking instructions have been given for non slow-cooker cooking in a conventional oven.