Jamie's shin stew is a fairly typical beef stew, with the usual ingredients - onion, celery, carrot, garlic, rosemary and bay, plum tomatoes and red wine - with cinnamon and dried porcini. Like all stews, the only effort it requires is chopping the vegetables - otherwise it is as easy as can be. Yesterday we started Christmas shopping, which for me tends to involve prolonged browsing in book shops and cook shops fantasizing about my ideal presents and then trying and failing to imagine what other people might want. I confess that I almost always buy people books; this is probably because that is what I want, and I find it hard to imagine that other people are less keen. I also have to resist the temptation to buy everyone a kitchen gadget that is essential to my life and utterly foreign to theirs. Anyway yesterday I did start Christmas shopping, while the stew simmered gently in the slow cooker (I increased the cooking time and used the slow cooker rather than the oven for convenience), which seemed like a highly productive way to spend a Sunday. I served the stew with mashed sweet potato and steamed curly kale (both from the farm shop).
Mmm. This really is as Jamie says 'fantastic comfort food', easy, simple, but certainly not to be despised or scoffed at. Oh and the best thing about stews is that you make far more than you need so that you can have leftovers when you are feeling down/tired/grumpy, and need a bit of food therapy - by which I mean food that warms you up inside without making you feel guilty afterwards. They should prescribe beef stew on the NHS.