Beef stew with onion, carrot and turnips

Basic Beef Stew

This basic beef stew is a versatile recipe that can be cooked in a pressure cooker in no time at all, or in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid over several hours.

This recipe was originally published as “Stewed Steak” in “The Basic Basics Pressure Cooker Cook Book” by Marguerite Patten in 1977.


1 – 1/2 lbs or 500 – 750gms of stewing steak. You might know it as stewing beef. Gravy beef will also work well. Cut this into rough cubes, about an inch square.

4 carrots, peeled and sliced

2 medium sized onions, chopped

2 turnips, peeled and diced

40 gm or about 1 1/4 oz of dripping or other fat. I used vegetable shortening in the video.

420 ml or 14 1/2 fluid oz of beef stock. You’ll need an extra cup if cooking in a regular saucepan.

Your choice of herbs and spices.  Click here for great chart that shows you which spices goes with your choice of meat.

25 gm or 1 oz of plain or all purpose flour.


Heat the fat in your pressure cooker or saucepan.

Lightly cook the onion for a minute or so.

If cooking in a regular saucepan, coat your meat with the flour. Don’t do this if you’re using a pressure cooker

Add the meat and brown quickly.

Add the stock. If using a pressure cooker keep a few tablespoonfuls aside to mix with your flour.

Add the vegetables and seasonings and stir.

Put the lid on and cook on a low heat on the stove-top for 2 – 2 1/2 hours if using a regular saucepan and serve when done.

If using a pressure cooker, bring to pressure and cook for 15 minutes if you have a 15 lb pressure cooker. Cook for 20 minutes if you have a 10 lb pressure cooker.

When cooked, reduce the pressure quickly by putting in a sink of cold water.

Mix the remaining stock with your flour. Put the open cooker back on the stove, add the flour/water mix and stir over a gentle heat until thickened.

This is a very tasty stew that you can change to suit whatever you have handy at the time.

Toad in the hole. Sausages baked in Yorkshire pudding batter.

Toad in the Hole

Sausages baked in Yorkshire Pudding batter. Serve with baked apples and carrots or baked beans for a quick meal, a definite favourite with the kids! :)


8 large pork or beef sausages

30 gm pork or beef dripping or lard

1 cup self raising flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/4 cups milk

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

Freshly ground black pepper


Put the sausages in a shallow ovenproof dish or baking tin with the dripping or lard and bake in a hot oven (220 degrees C or 425 degrees F) for 5 to 10 minutes, turning the sausages occasionally to brown on all sides.

Meanwhile, make the batter. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and put in the beaten eggs and half the milk. Mix the flour into the eggs and milk, gradually drawing flour in from the sides. Stir in remaining milk and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon or wire whisk to make the batter smooth. Stir in the dried herbs and pepper to taste.

Pour the batter into the dish or tin with the sausages and continue to bake in a hot oven for a further 40 to 45 minutes or until the batter has risen and is brown and crisp. Serve immediately.