Winter Warming Beef Casserole

Beef StewNow this is a recipe that does exactly what it says on the tin; it’s not designed to be flash, or require a great deal of work: it’s simple and homely and that’s exactly what I love about this wholesome, rich, warming casserole that should be served straight from the pot onto the plate piled high with mashed potatoes.

  • 300-500g lean stewing steak
  • 1 parsnip, finely diced
  • ½ small swede finely diced
  • 2 carrots thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 300ml stock (beef or vegetable)
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs (more if you like)
  • Black Pepper (to taste)
  • Maldon Salt

So prepare the vegetables and place in a decent sized casserole – be careful not to overfill as it’ll not cook properly in the middle, once that’s done season with a good twist of black pepper, a very small pinch of Maldon salt and a teaspoon of dried mixed herbs (although if you’re fussy you could use fresh herbs – but for lazy reasons with this dish I tend not to)

Put the vegetables aside for now and fry off the onion over a medium heat until they’re soft adding the stewing steak to brown – the aim here is simply to brown the steak, not cook it. Once browned add everything to the casserole and pour over 300ml’s of stock, now this can be proper stock, but a liquid stock, or cube will suffice, top up the casserole with boiling water until everything is covered, put a lid on and place in an pre-heated oven at 200° reducing the temperature to 160° straight away.

Cook for 2 to 3 hours then mix 3 teaspoons of corn flour with water in and mix slowly until blended, stir this mixture into the casserole to thicken the gravy – don’t rush this otherwise you’ll end up with lumps, return to the oven while you mash your potatoes and once every thing is ready serve straight to the plate with generous helpings of mashed potatoes covered in your beef casserole.