500g stewing beef
1 beef stock cube
100g chestnut mushrooms
Half a red pepper
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tblsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tblsp plain flour.
80g margarine or butter
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
Prep to Cook: Casserole dish for the oven, chopping board, vegetable knife, measuring jug, spoon
For the cobbler: mixing bowl, round bladed knife, teaspoon, rolling pin, flour dredger, scone cutters.
Prep:Prepare the stew:
Mix the cubes of meat with the tablespoon of flour in a polythene bag.
Peel, slice and dice the onion into medium sized chunks.
Trim the roots of the mushrooms and slice each mushroom into half or quarters.
Slice and dice the red pepper into small pieces.
Fry the onion slices until a little browning takes place an keeping the heat high add the floured meat cubes. Stir and fry off the meat cubes for 3 -4 minutes.
Reduce the heat and add the stock and Worcestershire sauce and seasoning.
Cover and simmer for 40 minutes. Oven 190?C Gas mark 5 or on the hob.
Prepare the cobbler:
Rub in the margarine or butter into the flour.
Mix in the dried mixed herbs.
Stir in the water of milk and mix with a round bladed knife to create a dough.
Sprinkle the table top with flour from the dredger and lightly knead the dough.
Pat out or roll gently to a circle about 1.5cm deep.
Cut as many scones or ‘cobblers’ as you can.
Remove the stew and check that the gravy is just level with the meat – if there is too much gravy scoop some out and serve separately.
Place the cobblers overlapping round the edge of the casserole.
Do not put the lid on.
Return to the oven and bake until the cobblers are golden and crisp, approximately 15 minutes. Serve immediately with green vegetables of your choice and jacket potatoes cooked at the same time as the cobbler.
Cobblers can be sweet or savoury but either way consist of stewed fruits or meat mixtures topped with ‘cobble’ like overlapped dough, dumpling or batter mixtures.
Cooks Know How: Two key cooking methods are used in this dish. Firstly, stewing or casseroling in the oven and secondly baking the cobblers.
Stewing or casseroling relies on the slow gently heat of stock and juices tenderising the meat proteins and developing good flavours. Long slow cooking maximises the process of making meat tender so that tough cuts like shin beef or shoulder meat will tenderise.
Collagen will be converted into gelatine and muscle fibres will fall apart as the connective tissue dissolves into the juices.
The flour dusting for the meat cubes will help to thicken the gravy as the starch grains will gelatinise in the juices during cooking.
Once the stew is nearly cooked the cobblers can be added and baked on the surface of the stew. The oven heat will converts the water of milk in the cobblers to steam and that will work alongside the raising agents in the S.R. flour to raise the cobbles. Baking will brown the surface of the cobbles making them crisp and look golden.
Serving this dish with jacket potatoes maximises the use of the oven. Green vegetables cook quickly just before serving to make a healthy nourishing meal.
The stew can be made with diced lamb shoulder. If lamb is used the cobblers could be flavoured with mint and rosemary to compliment the meat.