Maple & Vegemite Beef Stew
Updated: Mar 21
A taste of Canada and Australia in one little beef stew pot!
I have always loved the braised beef my dad often makes. It is a simple slow cooked dish that can be made in a cocotte (cast iron casserole) on the stove top. Comforting stews are often associated with big family meal, but there is no need to make this a big feast. Singles and couples can also enjoy this, meal especially in the winter cocooning season (and pandemic lockdown). I wrote this recipe to fit a medium or small casserole and that can just be doubled for a larger one. What makes this one special is that the dish is flavoured with Maple Syrup (Québec’s favourite native tree sugar, of course!). Maple syrup is loved for its many virtues, not only its unique taste but also its health benefits and versatility. It is such a great ingredient to flavour meat, from BBQ marinades to roasts and slow cooked dishes. In my little Aussie kitchen, I adapted the recipe with a little twist as an experiment with Vegemite, an iconic Australian thick and dark spread made with leftover brewer’s yeast. You either love or hate the taste, but as a flavouring it has an interesting savoury character that marries beautifully with the sweetness of maple syrup. Like the Maple and Bacon Baked Beans recipe, the contrast of flavours works perfectly. If you don’t have Vegemite you can try this recipe with some Marmite (the British version) or just add a pinch of salt. Bon appétit!
INGREDIENTS (for a medium casserole pot of about 20 cm):
500g diced beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
2 large mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp Vegemite (optional)
1 cup beef stock
1 bay leaf
pinch of chili spice
pinch of thyme
Pinch of pepper
Lunch: In a small bowl with artisan bread toast
Dinner: Mashed potatoes and steamed leaves (spinach, kale or silverbeet)
Leftover: As a pie filling with homemade crust, yum!
PREPARATION: In a medium small sized cast iron dish, brown the onion in oil and stir in the meat.
When all sides of the beef cubes are golden, add the carrots and garlic, stir well.
Sprinkle flour, mix well and stir for 1-2 minutes.
Add stock, maple syrup, Vegemite and seasonings.
Cover and simmer on a low heat for 2 hours until beef is tender.
Add mushrooms during the last hour of cooking.