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Exeter Stew (English)

ingredients

serves 6
700 g chuck steak or blade or neck of beef
2 tbsp dripping (fat from roasted meat
3 medium-sized onions (300 g approx)
3 tbsp plain flour
625 ml (2 1/2 cups) water
1 tsp vinegar
salt and pepper

method

to make the stew

1. Wipe the meat and trim off any excess fat. Cut the meat into 5cm cubes.

2. Heat the dripping in a stew pan and fry the meat in it until browned on all sides.

3. Remove the meat and put to one side.

4. Skin and slice the onions. Put them in the pan, and fry gently until light brown.

5. Add the flour, and cook, stirring until browned.

6. Mix in the water and stir until boiling.

7. Reduce the heat to simmering point. Add the vinegar and seasoning to taste.

8. Return the meat, cover the pan, and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours.

9. Pile the meat in the centre of a warmed serving dish, pour the gravy over it and arrange the parsley balls (see below) neatly round the base.

to make the parsley balls

1. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl.

2. Add the suet, herbs, salt and pepper, and mix together.

3. Beat the egg, if used, until liquid and bind the dry ingredients together with the beaten egg or milk to form a stiff dough.

4. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and roll each into a ball.

5. Heat the stew to boiling point and drop in the balls.

6. Reduce the heat and simmer for a further 30 minutes with the pan half covered.

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