I tried to incorporate all the helpful comments, and the recipe below is the new version.
suggested that it would be possible to cook this without using both a frying pan and a pot but it's not clear how I can do this without changing a main part of the recipe.
It would be possible of course to brown the meat in the pot and then set it aside on a plate, but that would hardly reduce the washing up.
The photo is my first attempt with my new camera which arrived yesterday and I still have to learn what all the buttons do.
Thanks for all the feedback :-)
Beef Potato Carrot And Celery Stew
Prep: 15 min
Cook: 2:10 min - depends on tenderness of the meat.
Total Time: 2:35 min
Serves 4 to 6
1 kg / 2 1/2 lb of beef chuck, cut into 2" cubes
600g / 1 1/4 lb of medium red potatoes, quartered
7-8 whole, peeled tomatoes, lightly crushed - canned or fresh
4 medium carrots, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 celery stalks, cut into 5cm / 2" pieces
2 medium onions, cut into 6ths - cut from top to bottom into thirds and then cut the thirds in half
About 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
Beef or vegetable broth to half cover the meat
5 cloves of minced garlic using a garlic press
1 tbsp of tomato paste
6 sprigs of fresh parsley or two tsp of dried
6 sprigs of fresh thyme - or 3/4 tsp of dried
2 bay leaves
2 to 3 tsp of red wine vinegar, or to taste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Olive or vegetable oil, for searing
Optional - 2 tbsp of unsalted butter
Season the beef with the salt and pepper and fry in a frying pan over a medium high heat until browned on all sides.
In a pot that's large enough to hold all of the ingredients, fry the the onion over medium heat in either olive oil or oil and butter, if using, until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it's fragrant, about 1 minute more, being careful not to let it burn.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring for a minute or so more.
Add the beef with its juices to the pot and sprinkle enough flour to lightly coat the top of the meat, and cook stirring for another two to three minutes.
Add enough water or broth to cover about one half of the meat and bring to a simmer.
If using fresh herbs, then tie the parsley, thyme, and bay leaves together with a piece of kitchen twine and add the bundle to the pot.
Or add the dry herbs and the bay leaf.
Season with 2 teaspoons of salt, and some black pepper, or to taste.
Cover the pot and simmer for around an hour, checking to see if you need to add more stock or water.
Check the tenderness of the meat by pushing a fork into it. The fork should pass through it but the meat shouldn't break up. Continue cooking for a little longer if necessary.
Add the potatoes, carrots, celery and tomatoes, and bring back to a simmer.
Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for around an hour more.
Remove the lid and increase the heat until the liquid thickens and the vegetables are tender.
Discard the herb bundle if you used fresh, or remove the bay leaf if you used dry.
Stir in the vinegar and season with a little more salt and pepper, to taste.
* Extra virgin olive oil burns more easily and is much more expensive. Regular virgin olive oil is fine.
* If using fresh tomatoes then please see the tips section on how to easily peel them.
* Many tomatoes can cause a bitter taste, so if the sauce tastes bitter then add a touch of bicarbonate of soda or sugar or both.
* Brining the meat will make it much more tender and might cut down on cooking time depending on how long you brined it. I only brine the meat for this dish for about 20-30 minutes.
* See the tips section on how to brine. A lab test showed that brining adds about 1/8 of a teaspoon to each serving of meat and almost double that for chicken.