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Low and Slow Beef & Sweet Potato Stew

Low and Slow Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

Designed for the slow cooker but feel free to use a normal casserole dish if you prefer, this super easy one pot beef dish is perfect for cold winter nights. With warming spices and a rich gravy, it satisfies the heartiest of appetites. We love this simply with a hunk of bread, but the dish goes well with couscous and rice too.


1kg of Country Victualler lean diced beef

700g of Sweet potatoes, chopped and cut into large chunks

300g Shallots

1 x 400g of chopped tomatoes

1 x Potts Beef and Burgundy Jus

2 tsp of garlic paste

1 tsp of paprika

A good pinch of cinnamon

1 bay leaf


First seal your beef, in batches in a hot frying pan, till nicely browned. Some people omit this stage if using a slow cooker. I believe if you have time, seal the meat. It helps with flavour and appearance of your finished dish.

Simply mix all the ingredients together well and cook in a low oven, gas mark 3 for around 2 and a half to 3 hours, or on your low setting in your slow cooker for 5-6 hours.

I’m a confessed slow cooker lid lifter, so I tend to go in at around 3 hours and give everything a stir.

Your meat should be tender and the sweet potatoes soft enough to break apart with your fork.

Beef and Sweet Potato Stew

Lazy lamb stew For 2

Lazy Lamb Stew for Two


500g of Diced Lamb

450g pack of pre-prepared stewing vegetables

½ packet of dumpling mix

1 packet of Potts Lamb Stock

½ teaspoon of dried mixed herbs

½ teaspoon of garlic granules

1 oz of plain flour

A little vegetable oil


Heat your oven to 180/gas mark 4

Toss the lamb chunks in flour and fry them in a little oil, till browned.

Add the vegetables, salt and pepper and garlic granules and cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently to ensure everything is well combined.

Transfer to a casserole dish and add the hot stock, cover and place in to your preheated oven for 1hr and 30 minutes.

In a bowl combine the dumpling mix with your herbs and a good grind of black pepper, then make them according to the packet instructions.

After the stew has been cooking for 1.5 hours, remove from the oven and add your dumplings, you can recover the dish for a soft dumpling top, or leave the lid off for a crunchier texture.

Pop your stew back into the oven for a further 25-30 mins, by then the meat will be lovely and tender and the dumplings cooked through.

Hurrah for re-openings, new products and, our ultimate burger recipe!

Hurrah for re-openings, new products and, our ultimate burger recipe!

The challenges of re-opening our shop, what we have been up to, and our ultimate burger recipe…

We think it’s fair to say the last few weeks have been a rollercoaster of emotions for the whole world, and with no certain end in sight it was time for us to take stock and make some plans!

We have continued to trade online but took the difficult decision to temporarily close our bricks and mortar shop at the end of March. Keeping our staff and customers safe is our priority and presented us with several challenges moving forward. So many questions, do we need screens? Masks? When should we reopen? How will we keep everyone safe, whilst still providing a top-notch customer experience?

Reopening board

Well, we have taken the plunge and The Country Victualler will reopen in The Engine Yard at Belvoir Castle on the 2nd of June. Normally we would want to celebrate an opening with a big BBQ and lots of fuss, but these are strange times. We are trialling some new “shop safe” strategies, including restricting the number of customers in the shop at one time, offering call and collect and click and collect services. We are hopeful that our customers will continue to support us, quite honestly we have been blown away by their loyalty and understanding whilst we have been closed. We have been incredibly humbled and touched by all the lovely messages and trust pilot reviews we have received.

We haven’t been idle while we’ve been away – we have been working on our new and improved smoked chicken, and developed a delicious Vintage Red Fox and Caramelised Onion Pork Pie. Our tasting panel voted unanimously in favour of launching this one ASAP, so keep your eyes peeled for that. We think you will all love it as much as they did. Our traditional pork pie topped with cheese and onions - left us wondering why didn’t we think of it before! If you would like to be considered for future taste testings,  just join our Facebook Community Group We are a friendly bunch, sharing funnies and cooking tips.

Cook Our Ultimate Burger Inside or Al Fresco!

Banish the boring with our ultimate burger recipe. Two juicy burgers, topped with black pudding, streaky bacon, cheese and tomato, and onion chutneys. The best of British for your BBQ’s whatever the weather!


For each burger, you will need:

2 burgers, we recommend our pork and venison burgers

1 slice of black pudding

2 slices of streaky bacon

1 slice of your preferred cheese

1 toasted sesame bun

1 tablespoon of caramelised onion chutney

1 tablespoon of quality tomato ketchup


1)      Firstly, cook your burgers in a frying pan on medium heat, make sure you leave them without flipping for the first few minutes to develop that lovely crust. Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes each side.

2)     In a separate frying pan cook your streaky bacon until crispy and set aside on some kitchen paper to drain.

3)     Using the bacon pan, cook the black pudding for 2-3 minutes each side.

4)     Toast your buns!

5)     Build the burger. On the base of the bun stack your 1st burger, onion chutney, black pudding, 2nd burger, bacon, cheese, tomato ketchup and finally top with sesame bun top

6)     Serve with fresh salad and a nice cold beer!

7)     If cooking on your bbq outside, we recommend still using a pan on top of your bbq grill for both the bacon and black pudding.

Step in to Spring with our quick and easy dinner recipe from the Country Victualler kitchen.

A word from The Country Victualler kitchen…


Now, when the world is slowing down, seemed like the perfect time to start our blog. We hope this will be a place where we can help people fall back in love with British produce. Share recipes and cooking tips, help showcase other artisan producers and answer those burning foodie questions – like how to achieve the perfect crackling or how to cook your steak so it’s always tender, is grass-fed always better? We are working on a customer “Hall of Fame” so send us your foodie photos and scrumptious selfies and you might feature on our blog.

The Country Victualler has a long and respected history as one of the most respected ham producers in the country, but feel free to skip the history if it’s not your thing.

We bought The Country Victualler in 2013, from Richard Craven-Smith-Mines and his wife Jane. Our vision was to preserve traditional ham making and heritage recipes. The jewel in our crown is the Alderton Marmalade Glazed Ham™ the recipe for which has been alive for well over 100 years. We have also expanded to include smoked meats, hams, pâtés, terrines, and delicious baked goods.



Our business is still a family concern, and that is at the heart of everything we do. With a background in butchery and baking and a passionate desire to keep British food heritage alive, we hope to continue producing products that are not just incredibly tasty, but that is sustainable for the future. Most of our courier packaging is now recyclable and we are working on the rest.

We are constantly looking for other British businesses to partner and collaborate with. From wines to sauces, charcuterie, and everything in-between, so if you are a small artisan producer we want to hear from you!

In recent weeks the world has been hit with the invisible enemy Covid-19 and we have all had to adapt our lives very quickly. Social distancing, hour-long queues for supermarkets, empty shelves, and waving at our loved ones through windows have all become somehow normal.

I am so proud of how our team has leapt into action, not thinking of the bottom line but instead suggesting discounts and priority deliveries for the vulnerable and elderly. Alongside our sister company Maloney’s, we have been delivering sandwiches to local hospitals and schools, expanded our product range to include easy to use packs and implemented contactless nationwide delivery.


With the days drawing out and the weather warming, our thoughts turn to lighter, brighter dinner time solutions. We are particularly fond of the following recipe. It combines minimum effort with maximum flavour, leaving you more time to spend however you please.

Sweet chilli & lime chicken with springtime rice salad

  Chilli, Ginger & Lime Chicken


1 x pack of our pre-marinated sweet chilli and lime chicken breasts

150g of rice, cooked and cooled

50g of pomegranate seeds

50g of feta cheese, cubed

½ of yellow pepper, chopped

½ a red onion, chopped (optional)

¼ of a cucumber, chopped

For the mint and lemon vinaigrette, you will need…

The juice of one lemon

Light olive oil, equal volume to the lemon juice

2 sprigs of mint, finely chopped

½ teaspoon of white caster sugar



Firstly, cook and cool the rice, you need to cool the rice quickly, to avoid bacterial growth.

Pre-heat your oven to gas mark 5/190 degrees and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

While the oven is heating prepare your cucumber, pomegranate (we used pre-prepared seeds) feta cheese, yellow peppers, and red onion if using.

Place the chicken on the baking sheet and into the oven, cook for approximately 25-30 minutes.

Now make your dressing, the easiest way to do this is in a clean jam jar.

Juice your lemon and pour into the jar, now add the olive oil, judging by eye is fine.

Add your sugar and chopped mint, replace the jar lid and shake vigorously till the ingredients combine.

Fluff the cold rice with a fork and mix through your other salad components, reserving the dressing till you are ready to serve.

Once your chicken is cooked, rest for a few minutes then cut on the diagonal. Pour your dressing over the rice salad and mix thoroughly.

Easy Beef Stew and Dumplings.

Beef stew

Easy Beef Stew and Dumplings

This easy winter warmer is perfect for those days you need to spend minimum time preparing dinner. Once it’s in the oven all you have to do, is ignore it for hours at a time! With a rich gravy and tender chunks of beef it’s packed full of flavour, and the addition of herby dumplings gives it the comfort factor we all crave on a cold winter evening.

Serves 4. Preparation time 20 minutes. Cooking time 4 hours plus


For the Stew:

1kg diced stewing beef

1 onion, chopped

1 stick of celery

2 large carrots, sliced into batons

1 large chunk of oxtail (optional)

2 leeks, sliced

2tbsp of plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

1 can of Guinness

1 pint of beef stock

For the Dumplings:

100g self raising flour

100g vegetable suet

Salt and pepper

1 tsp mixed herbs

50g finely grated parmesan (optional)


1)      Coat the raw beef in the seasoned flour and brown in a little hot oil, in small batches, no more than 6-8 chunks at a time. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into your casserole dish. Repeat until all the meat is browned.

2)      Using the same frying pan soften the onions and leeks. Use a good splash of your Guinness to deglaze your pan and then add to the casserole along with the celery and chopped carrots and the oxtail if using.

3)      Mix your beef stock and Guinness and add to the casserole.

4)      Cook on a very low heat, Gas mark 2/3 for up to 8 hours, checking every couple of hours in case it requires more stock.

5)      For the dumplings, simply mix all the dry ingredients together, with enough cold water to make a stiff dough. You can then either roll this out gently and using a scone cutter make neat little rounds, or like me you can just use 2 spoons to form a more rustic looking dumpling!

6)      When your meat is cooked and you are around 30 minutes away from wanting to serve the dish, remove your casserole lid a pop in the dumplings. Leave the casserole uncovered and further cook for another 20-25 minutes