The process here provides the stock part of the dish, so no additional stock is required. Start by getting the butter melted and up to a hot temperature. While this is happening, cut the meat into cubes, keeping bones if any. Dry the meat diligently, then dust lightly with the flour. This will make the meat go brown. If there is any water in there, the meat will stay a dull grey colour.
First fry the bacon until crisp, then remove it from the pan. Try to keep as much of the juice as possible in the pan. Do the frying in batches if necessary. After the bacon, the meat gets fried until a nice dark brown.
There will be an accumulation of caramelised meat and flour on the bottom of the pan. Leave it there, that will become the stock for the dish. Again, do it batches if necessary. Remove the meat from the pan when done.
Next comes the onion, sweet pepper and the diced carrot. There should be a decent amount of fat in the pan. If it looks a bit dry, add some more butter. Fry the onions, pepper and carrot until light brown, then add the chilli and garlic. Fry for fifteen seconds, then add all the meat and the fresh herb followed by the tomatoes.
Also add the soy sauce at this stage, then add enough water to cover the ingredients. Bring the dish to the boil, then set the gas to the lowest setting, put the lid on, sit back and relax. The dish now has to simmer for at least one hour.
Stir often with an egg lifter to help the crust come off the bottom of the pan and into the dish. You will notice that the sauce thickens on its own. Top up the water as the dish goes dry, you don't want it to burn. After an hour the meat should start to go tender.
When the meat is almost done, add the mushrooms, the shallots and the tomato paste. Simmer for another fifteen minutes or so, then remove the pot from the heat. Then start with the mash and veggies to accompany the dish. This will allow the dish to repose or rest and develop flavour.
Use butter in the mashed potatoes, along with milk, salt, freshly ground pepper and some chopped parsley.
Recipe reprinted with permission of The Hungry Sailor. To see more recipes, click here.