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Dorset Jugged Steak

This traditional Dorset dish was often prepared to be eaten on days when the fair came to town since it is good tempered enough to wait until the revellers come home, although the forcemeat balls should not be cooked for too long. Jugging is a method of slow cooking which retains all the flavours of the meat while mingling them with those of the other ingredients.

ingredients

serves 4
700 g (1 1/2 lb) stewing steak, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) cubes
25 g (1 oz) plain wholemeal flour
1 medium onion, skinned and sliced
4 cloves
salt and pepper
150 ml (1/4 pint) port
about 450 ml (3/4 pint) beef stock, to cover
225 g (8 oz) sausagemeat
50 g (2 oz) fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped fresh parsley
15 ml (1 tbsp) redcurrant jelly

method

1. Toss the meat in the flour, shaking off excess, and put into an ovenproof casserole.

2. Add the onion and cloves and season to taste. Pour in the port and just enough stock to cover the meat.

3. Cover the casserole and bake at 170°C (325°F) mark 3 for about 3 hours, until the meat is tender.

4. Meanwhile, mix together the sausagemeat, breadcrumbs and parsley and season to taste. with floured hands, form the mixture into 8 balls.

5. Forty minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir the redcurrant jelly into the casserole. Add the forcemeat balls and cook, uncovered, until the forcemeat balls are cooked and slightly brown. Skim off any excess fat and serve hot.

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