The cooler weather has finally arrived and we’ve been enjoying more hearty meals for dinners.
My sister, Helen, inspired me to make this Beef and Red wine Casserole for dinner this week. The wonderful thing about a casserole is once you’ve gathered and chopped the ingredients and added them to the pot you can step away from the kitchen for a few hours and let heat and time work its magic. A sprinkling of gremolata before serving will add freshness and colour.
1kg chuck steak, cut into 3cm cubes
1/4 cup flour
salt & pepper
oil or ghee for sauteeing
2 full rashers bacon, rind removed and cut into 1cm strips
2 leeks, washed well and sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 sprigs thyme
6 medium sized mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste (have you tried Herbies Tomato Powder? It’s a fantastic substitute)
2 cups (500ml) red wine
2 cups (500ml) beef stock
2 bay leaves
1 large handful parsley, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, crushed
zest of 1 lemon (I like to use a Microplane zester to do this)
Season the beef generously with salt and pepper, then coat with the flour.
Heat the base of a heavy based casserole over low-medium heat and add a good splash of oil or a spoonful of ghee. When the pan is hot enough add the beef, in batches, and cook until nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
Add a little more oil or ghee to the pan, if needed, and add the bacon, leeks, garlic, thyme, mushrooms and carrots and cook for 5 minutes or so or until they are starting to soften.
Add the beef back to the pan, along with the red wine and bring to the boil. Reduce heat slightly and allow the alcohol to cook off for a couple of minutes. Now add the tomato paste, stock and bay leaves. Bring to the simmer, pop the lid on and simmer for 2 hours or until the beef is tender. Remove the lid and cook for a further 30-40 minutes or until the juices have reduced and thickened.
Meanwhile prepare the gremolata by combining the ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle over the casserole just before serving.
Serve with mashed potato or risoni (rice shaped pasta), and steamed seasonal greens that have been seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled with olive oil.
Happy cooking x