Aka "I made it up" because that's what I answered when asked 4 separate times "It smells good, what is it?"
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 onions, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
4 short cut bacon rashers, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1kg diced lean beef
4 tablespoons plain flour
800g tin crushed tomatoes
4 carrots, sliced
3 cups water
2 Massel beef stock cubes (each cube makes 500mL of stock)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and ground black pepper
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Cook bacon, then add onion, celery and garlic and cook until onion begins to brown.
2. Add beef and cook stirring until it browns (or at least isn't red any more....). Sprinkle flour over the mix and stir through (here we're aiming for no patches of white stuff - it's all very technical).
3. Add the tomatoes, carrots, water, stock cubes, thyme, allspice, worcestershire sauce and sugar. Bring it to the boil, stirring constantly then reduce to a simmer and cover. Go take your daughter to her hour-long singing lesson and hope like hell that you turned the stove down far enough. Come home, give it another stir and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and boring old ordinary salt. (It really ought to be fancy sea salt flakes to go with the fancy pepper, but once it's dissolved it's all just NaCl.)
4. Take your son to Drama class and then go check out the new car you're probably, almost certainly, we'll see, buying. Come home and decide 2 hours simmering is probably enough. Put half of it in the freezer for one of those days when cooking is just not going to happen. (I ended up getting 12 serves out of this recipe.) Stick the rest in a serving dish in the microwave and put the rice on to cook. Send Dad to pick up the youngest child, set the table and feed the cats and dog so they'll shut up and leave you alone. Feed the fish too even though they're not complaining.
5. Serve over rice and fail to take a photo because you're too tired and hungry and it doesn't look particularly photogenic any way.
I'll take a photo next time I cook it, because it tasted pretty damn good. Even Caitlin liked it.
And we used up a whole sourdough loaf mopping up the gravy.
(I seem to be posting an awful lot of food posts lately. Tell me, is this good or bad?)
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