I looked out this morning at a beautiful Devon winter scene with frost turning everything white. My thoughts turned to warming comfort food for the evening and what could be better than a beef and vegetable casserole? I use Red Ruby Devon beef for its flavour and high welfare standards.
This is a perfect BBC GoodFood recipe which delivers on simplicity and taste. It's easy to prepare and the long slow cook allows the beef to become tender and the flavours to develop.
Beef And Vegetable Casserole
2 celery, sticks, thickly sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 really big carrots, halved lengthways then very chunkily sliced
5 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 beef stock cube, crumbled
850g stewing beef (featherblade or brisket works nicely), cut into nice large chunks
Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the kettle on. Put the celery, onion, carrots, bay and 1 thyme sprig in a casserole with 1 tbsp oil and the butter. Soften for 10 mins, then stir in the flour until it doesn’t look dusty anymore, followed by the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock cubes.
Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in the beef and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and put in the oven for 2hrs 30 mins, then uncover and cook for 30mins – 1hr more until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thickened.
It's handy to have a casserole pot (dutch oven) that goes straight from hob to oven. I have a Greenpan one, which is ideal and so easy to clean. On the left is a similar one from the USA.
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