A hearty home-cooked casserole is a welcome way to spend a family night in.
- 1kg beef
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 stick celery, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2½ cups beef stock
- 400g can cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup green olives
- Parsley leaves
Prepare the beef: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut beef into 2.5cm-3cm cubes. Season with salt and pepper and add about 2 tablespoons of oil to beef, mix well. Heat a large frypan over a medium high heat. Brown the beef in two or three batches. Remove each batch and place it in a casserole dish.
Add the vegetables: Reduce heat in pan and add a little extra oil, add the garlic and vegetables, cook for 1-2 minutes, stir occasionally. Add the flavour base: Sprinkle in the flour or other seasoning and stir until the vegetables are coated. Gradually pour in the stock or other liquid, stirring well.
Add the remaining flavour base ingredients, stirring until the mixture boils. Pour over the beef in the casserole dish and stir to combine. Cover the casserole dish, place in oven, and cook until beef is very tender. Stir every 40 minutes or so, add water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered. Or, instead of using the oven you can use the cooktop method to make the casserole.
Place the browned beef and other ingredients in a heavy-based pot instead of the casserole dish. Partially cover, keep the heat low. Simmer until the meat is very tender. Stir
occasionally, add water if needed during the cooking time to keep ingredients well covered.
To judge if your casserole is ready, simply taste it – the sauce should be rich in flavour and slightly thickened, the meat should be tender enough to fall apart easily with a fork.
Cooking times will vary depending on the choice of beef cuts and the type of dish they are cooked in. The oven temperature generally starts at 180°C but if the casserole
is cooking too quickly it should be lowered to about 160°C. Topside, round and blade (1-1½hrs) will not take as long to cook as chuck, boneless shin or gravy beef (2-2½hrs).