Braised Beef Casserole

braised-beef-casserole
You can’t go past a good beef casserole in winter.

Slow cook it at the weekend with your favourite root vegetables and a glass of red wine – it makes delicious guilt free comfort food. Or if you prefer, substitute the red wine with some good quality stock or bone broth.

The slow cooking process renders tough cuts of meat mouth-wateringly tender so you can choose a non-premium cut of organic meat (such as chuck) and it works out considerably cheaper.

This dish will feed the whole family or you can eat half and freeze half for later. We do this often to save cooking during the week.

Ingredients

  • 1kg/2 ¼ pounds of chuck steak or other cut of beef suitable for slow cooking (ask your butcher if you’re not sure)
  • 2 brown onions
  • 2 medium sized carrots
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 medium sized parsnips/turnips/swede or other root vegetable of your choice (in my opinion parsnips taste best)
  • 2 cloves garlic/teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup red wine/good quality beef stock/bone broth

Method

  1. Peel the carrots and root vegetables, and chop all the vegetables into even sized chunks, around 2.5cm or 1 inch in size. If using whole garlic cloves, finely chop them
  2. Cut the beef into cubes roughly 4cm/1.5 inches each side. Bring a large frying pan to a medium to high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil then cook in batches until browned on each side (this shouldn’t take more than a few minutes). Unless you have a very big frying pan, you will likely need to cook in 2 batches to avoid overcrowding
  3. Place the sealed beef in the slow cooker/crock pot
  4. Bring a frying pan to a medium heat this time, then add the olive oil and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes until they start to turn translucent, then add the other vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes more
  5. Place the vegetables on top of the meat in the slow cooker
  6. Add the wine/stock/bone broth (I prefer to use red wine as it imparts a delicious flavour) and bay leaves and season with salt and pepper
  7. If using chuck beef, cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. If using gravy beef, it will cook faster – 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low
  8. When the slow cooking is complete, transfer to a large frying pan or pot and reduce over a medium heat for 10 minutes or so until the liquid has evaporated and the casserole is a nice thick consistency

Serving suggestion

If you are paleo, this dish is delicious with cauliflour rice.

For traditionalists enjoy with mashed potato. This dish also goes well with polenta or rice.

Serves 4

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