What to serve with a hearty beef stew

Sides, starters, and dessert ideas

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Showem
We have a couple coming over tonight and I've decided to do a beef stew in the slow cooker. It'll be pretty heavy, using a good dose of dark beer in the sauce. However, there aren't any potatoes or serious vegetables in the stew itself, so it would be nice to serve something else with it. I was thinking of some flat noodles, fettucine-like, but I'm not commited to it. And I need a dessert. Any other good ideas from you creative cookers?
mothbola
A good accompaniment to a beef stew is Colcannon.

What you'll need to server 4 peeps is;

500g cooked potatoes
250g/ shredded cabbage
2 tbsp cream
1 large thinly sliced onion
oil

Mash the potatoes and mix in the cabbage and cream.
Fry the onion in the oil on a medium heat until it softens... (try to get a little bit of a brownish colour going)
Spoon the 1/2 the mashed potatoe mixture on top of the cooking onions (still in the frying pan), and press the potatoe mixture down with a large spoon whatever else comes to hand. Continue to fry this for 4 or 5 minutes, until it is golden brown on the underside.
Then cut the "cake" into 4 peices, and turn over carefully.
Next spoon the remaining potatoe mixture on top of the browned "cake"... continue to fry for 4 or 5 mins, then turn over one more time, and fry again for 4 or 5 mins..
What you are trying to acheive here is a crispy brown top, bottom and middle

edit... ooops... forgot to add that you should season the mashed potatoes to taste.
BadDoggie
If you don't have the root veg in there, it's hardly a "hearty stew". It's braised meat in gravy, not that this is such a bad thing. Easiest is to dump over wide, flat noodles as you suggested.

For dessert you could do something like an apple brown betty which is piss easy. Make a syrup out of 2/3c. brown sugar, 1/4c. hot water and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Core and slice a dozen apples and layer 'em with cinnamon in a greased baking pan. Cover with half the syrup. The topping is a 4:2:1.5 mix of flour, brown sugar and butter, all cut together (NOT blended or mixed!). Dump that over the apples and pour the rest of the syrup over the whole shebang. Bake at 180°C for an hour.

woof.
nilpferd
don't have a recipe i'm afraid, but nothing beats stew and dumplings!
mothbola
If you don't have the root veg in there, it's hardly a "hearty stew". It's braised meat in gravy, not that this is such a bad thing. Easiest is to dump over wide, flat noodles as you suggested.
In my view, you are completely wrong.
For example, a good beef and guiness stew never has any root veg in it. These are always served on the side.
rubber duck
don't have a recipe i'm afraid, but nothing beats stew and dumplings!
Sure! Stew and Yorkshire pudding !!

Think if not YP, I would go for a potatoe gratin, a nice green salad and greek yoghurt with some honey, yumm !
@showem, can I come along for dinner ?
Katrina
Semmelknödel?
For something more British, try suet dumplings.
Suet dumplings are always about half fat to flour, so 200g plain flour (+raising agent or use self-raising seeing as you are in the UK) needs 100g shredded suet, mix with water or stock to make dumplings, add chopped chives or parsley with seasoning if you'd like, poach like a Semmelknödel or add to the slowcooker at the end for about 10-12mins.
No suet? Use butter but increase the flour content as suet is drier.

Apple crumble would be a great pudding - I have nursery food-itis today.
UrbanAngel
I'm sorry, but Yorkshire puddings don't belong on the same plate as stew!
MonksTown
Purple sprouting, kale etc as veggies on the side?

If its a hearty stew, maybe a lighter desert like a fruit fool?
Little Britain
I would either serve it with some dumplings (Semmelknödel or plain Knödel) or even possibly with some Spätzle
gideon
Prune or plum and apple filled dumplings could be interesting. Otherwise I personaly like the idea of the noodles. Or a selection of steamed vegetables would be a nice offset to the heaviness. I was thinking something citrusy but that I dont think is right. Desserts? I'm not a dessert man, nothing like a good set of cheese and biscuits with an quaff of port though...

A side note I also thought a stew had to have veggies in it, and why not with a yorkshire pudding? Not that I ever going to argue those points like... Damm now I'm hungry.
Showem
Thanks for the ideas so far people, keep them coming! Even if I don't use them tonight, they'll be great for other occasions.

Monkstown, I have some purple sprouting broccoli, but wasn't sure how it would go with it...
KingBilly
Yeah I would have thought stew without veggies just wasn't gravy. Considering Irish stew ( the only thing I know!) was originally a peasant dish, it would have definitely of had a few spuds in there.
Katrina
Brocolli Rabe (the sprouty stuff) would be fine, steam or sautéed, don't use a strong oil. Chestnut mushrooms could also be good as you don't want a big competition with flavours.

If you wanted a side salad, maybe something with bitter leaves (raddichio, rocket, chicory...) with a french vinagrette would work?
Stew would go *in* massive plate-size Yorkshires made in a flan tin, but roast meats are more common.
nilpferd
I'm sorry, but Yorkshire puddings don't belong on the same plate as stew!
agreed!
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