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David Hope-Jones’s Winter Warmer – Beef & Vegetable Stew (with wine recommendations from Rose Murray Brown)

“By adding all the beans, you’re able to halve the amount of meat you use, to make it much more environmentally friendly.  And it’s a great way of cooking for a crowd. I love to make a great big batch, using up whatever’s lying around and freeze it in batches for easy meals when we’re short of time – or to take out a portion in a billy can and heat up over a fire with my boys in the local woods.”

David Hope-Jones, Chief Executive, Scotland Malawi Partnership 

David Hope-Jones MBE has been the Chief Executive of the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP) since 2008. The SMP is a national civil society network coordinating supporting and representing the people-to-people links between Scotland and Malawi.  500 miles is a member of SMP and over the years we have enjoyed invaluable practical and moral support from its members and staff, and particularly, David.

David Hope-Jones’s Winter Warmer – Beef & Vegetable Stew

Ingredients (serves four):

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1tbsp plain flour

300g diced beef

1 medium onion

2 sticks celery

2 bay leaves

2 beef stock cubes

2 tbsp tomato puree

Half a bottle of left-over red wine



1 tsp vegemite/marmite

2 tbsp Worcestershire source

1 can butter beans

1 can red beans






Seal the beef over a high heat in the oil and add the flour.  Stir well to ensure the flour doesn’t stick.  Turn down the heat a little.  Add the onions, celery and bay leaves and keep stirring for ten minutes.  Crush up and add the stock cubes.

Pour in the tomato puree, wine, herbs, vegemite, Worcestershire source, beans and roughly chopped vegetables. Add warm water to cover the ingredients. Simmer gently on the hob, or put in the oven, for at least 90 mins but the longer the better, adding more water if needed. Season to taste and serve with chunks of crusty bread to soak up the sauce. 

To be honest, any/all of the ingredients can be substituted based on what you’ve got.  These are the veg we typically have in our weekly veg box, wine that’s usually kicking around and the herbs we have growing in the garden.  Improvise and use it as a way of using up whatever might otherwise go to waste. 

Rough and ready but packed with flavour.

Rose Murray Brown’s Wine Recommendations

With the nights drawing in, this hearty beef and vegetable stew needs a good autumnal red.  

My first choice is Rioja from Spain – GLORIOSO RIOJA RESERVA 2016 £11.95 Ocado; The Wine Society is one of the best value Rioja Reservas I have tasted.  Quite modern with vibrant fruits, gamey notes, softened and spiced with one year in French oak – a great buy.  

Alternatively you could head to Portugal for a rich full bodied warming XISTO ILIMITADO TINTO 2017 Luis Seabra £19 Harvey Nichols; L’Art du Vin – made by talented Luis Seabra (previously winemaker at Niepoort) from a seven grape blend of native Portuguese varieties grown at 500m in Cima Corgo, the heartland of the famous Douro Valley.  It has ripe damson and berry aromas, peppery undertones with savoury smoky notes, soft tannins and a velvet smooth finish.


Cooking with wine basic tip: only use wine you would be happy to drink yourself – and don’t use a wine if you think it might be faulty as it will affect the flavour of your dish.

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