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Beef Stew Recipe

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The islands are famous for tasty stews and their secret is the pungent combination of pepper sauce and fresh herbs. Beetroots, carrots and the delicious nutty taste of green bananas lightens up the traditionally spicy Caribbean beef stew but the recipe is still delicious without them. Green bananas are loaded with vitamins and minerals most notably iron. Serve with rice.

You will need the following ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs/750g stew beef
1 medium onion
2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Caribbean seasoning (optional)
6 cups 48floz/1.5l water
1/2 tablespoon gravy browning
1/2 teaspoon pepper sauce
1/2 stick celery
1 sprig fresh thyme (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 sprig fresh marjoram (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 beef stock cube
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
3 tablespoons flour (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb/250g carrots
1 large/2 small beetroot
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 lb/500g green bananas peeled (optional)

Wash beef, pat dry and cut into very small cubes. Place in a bowl with the onion, garlic, pepper sauce, seasoning (optional), celery, herbs and beef cube. Mix well and leave to marinate if possible.

Heat the oil and sauté beef for a few minutes, add water and the gravy browning and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until tender (40 minutes to an hour depending on the quality of the beef).

Mix butter and flour into a paste and add to the stew to thicken, stirring until well blended. Add salt and pepper, bay leaf, carrots, beetroot and green bananas (if including) and simmer until the vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).

Serves 4-6

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