Bab’s Stew, a Winter Warmer

Posted by Angharad Underwood on

Every Tuesday, as a kid, we had stew and I can still here the groans from my siblings as we made our way home to “Bludi Ole Stew!”. At the time we were desperate for something glamourous like a Fray Bentos or something equally awfully processed but now, every so often I secretly admit that I crave it! Don’t tell my brothers!

The weather has to be bone chillingly cold, the nights long and dark and big pan is required.

I still make it in the style of my Mum, there are no measurements, just peeled sliced & chopped until the pan is full. Babs would start the stew on the Monday for eating on the Tuesday – it was deeply frowned upon the even attempt to sneak a bowl before Tuesday and if there was any left, a truly intense bowl could possibly be had on day 3.  

Always served with lots of mashed potato, always a little bit comfortingly lumpy with lots of butter, milk and pepper. 

This is the epitome of low and slow cooking where patience is a virtue where you’ll be blessed by the intensity of it’s warming deliciousness.

  • 1kg Shin or Stewing Beef sliced into large rustic chunks.
  • 1 tblsp Rapeseed Oil
  • 200g Onions, peeled and roughly sliced
  • 200g Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 200g Parsnips, roughly chopped,
  • 200g Swede, peeled and roughly chopped.
  • 200g Potatoes, roughly chopped – I like to leave the skin on
  • Beef stock cube or two
  • Chilli flakes – optional!
  • Salt & pepper
  • Cover with water


Brown the meat in a large heavy based pan with a bit of rapeseed oil. Add all the veg, roughly chopped as this is going to cook for a long time so larger pieces are good. Cover with water, add stock cubes and salt & pepper. Leave to cook slowly with the lid over but not fully on, stir occasionally and add more seasoning to taste.

Cook for two or three hours, turn off the heat, refit the lid and leave overnight.

Reheat on day 2 for half an hour or until bubbling, the meat melts apart, the veg is deliciously tender and the gravy is lovely and rich. Check for seasoning and serve with mash, crusty bread or dumplings.

I like to add some dried chilli flakes, as my Mum did from the early 80’s and my most recent addition is this fabulous Bwydiful BBQ Sauce – just on the side or maybe some Candied Jalapenos for an extra pimp.




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