Completely owe this entire recipe and history to “The Dairy Book of British Food”
I normally cook French stews such as Boeuf Bourguignon or Irish stews which fill the kitchen with scents of Guinness, but for St George’s Day I wanted something English! Made with English Beef. And really homely and rich. And I must say I was pleasantly surprised with this dish – Dorset Jugged Steak. There was plenty to serve 4, especially with the filling (force)meat balls, and it echoed hints of Christmas with the cloves. Whilst the port based juices just gave it a different kind of density to wine or stout based stews. Very nice indeed!
Plus – it’s so, so easy to cook – you must give it a go.
This traditional Dorset dish was often prepared to be eaten on days when the fair came to town as it is good-tempered enough to wait until the revellers came home, although the forcemeat balls should not be cooked for too long. Jugging is a method of slow cooking which retains all the flavours of the meat while mingling them with those of the other ingredients.
675 Gram Stewing steak, in 2.5 cm cubes (1 1/2 lb)
25 Gram Plain flour (1 oz)
1 Medium Onion, sliced
150 ml Port ( 1/4 pint)
450 ml Beef stock, to cover (3/4 pint)
225 Gram Sausagemeat (8 oz)
50 Gram Fresh breadcrumbs (2 oz)
2 Tablespoon Fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon Redcurrant jelly
Toss the meat in the flour, shaking off excess. Put into an oven-proof casserole dish. Add the onion and cloves, pour in the port and just enough stock to cover the meat. Cover and bake for 3 hours, until the meat is tender.
Meanwhile, mix together the sausagemeat, breadcrumbs and parsley, form the mixture into 8 balls. 40 minutes before the end of the cooking time , stir the redcurrant jelly into the casserole. Add the forcemeat balls and cook, uncovered, until the forcemeat balls are cooked and slightly brown.
Skim off any excess fat and serve hot.