Smoky beef and rioja stew with paprika and manchego scones

Autumn is definitely creeping in now in Manchester.

It’s started getting dark earlier and I no longer need to have the fan on at night in the oven that masquerades as my flat.  Seriously, my flat has its own tropical weather system. Winter makes living in it bearable.

What’s also nice is coming home and finding something hot and tasty in the slow cooker. Like this!

This stew is a little more interesting than your bog-standard beef stew. The chorizo and smoked paprika really add some flavour. Also, I love the idea of having a savoury scone as an accompaniment, rather than a dumpling, which I’m not the biggest fan of.

Recipe adapted from  one published in Olive magazine, December 2013.

  •  150g chorizo skinned and chopped
  • oil, for frying
  • 2kg cubed stewing beef,
  • 2 tbsp plain flour,
  • bottle of rioja,
  • 2 large onions diced,
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed,
  • 4 diced celery sticks,
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree,
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • a few sprigs of thyme

For the scones

  •  400g self raising flour,
  • 80g butter chilled and diced,
  • 150g coarsely grated manchego,
  • 1 tsp smokeed paprika,
  • 200mls milk,
  • salt

To make the scones heat oven to 200C put flour, butter, and ½ tsp salt in food processor and pulse to breadcrumbs – tip into bowl and add 2/3 of the manchego and the paprika – slowly add the milk and stir into a soft dough. Roll on a floured worksurface and cut into scones. Put on a baking sheet, brush with more milk and sprinkle with remaining cheese and a pinch of paprika. Bake for 12-14 mins.

For the stew – turn the oven down to 160C – heat the olive oil over a gentle heat and fry the chorizo until golden – remove. Coat the beef chunks in seasoned flour and brown in the same pan. Transfer beef and chorizo into large casserole with a lid. Deglaze the pan with a splash of wine and then tip that too into the casserole.  Now gently fry all the veg with olive oil in the same pan until it starts to turn golden.  Stir in paprika, tomato puree, vinegar and thyme. Add into the casserole with remaining wine and stir. Bring to a simmer, put the lid on and put in the oven for 3 hours until meat is tender.


Coat the beef in seasoned flour and brown in a frying pan. Tip into a slow cooker.  Gently fry the vegetables until golden and add to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours. If required, strain the sauce and reduce until thick. Serve with the scones and some veg.