Hearty Beef and Red Wine Casserole

Having been full of a cold last week I needed something nice and stodgy to help me to feel sorry for myself and beef stew was what I needed! Dumplings would have made it even better but I couldn’t bring myself to ruin the diet THAT much!

Below are the basic principles, you choose what vegetables you like and adjust accordingly! Mushrooms haters just leave them out!

Beef and Red wine Stew

Serves 3 or 4 with some mash!
Preheat oven to around 160.

1 Large pack of casserole beef
2 sticks of celery chopped finely
1 large Onion roughly chopped
2 large cloves of garlic – chopped
4 Shallots – Peeled and halved – optional
A Small bowl full of root vegetables cut into cubes – I used Swede, Carrot Sweet Potato and some potato. You could even just get a stew pack from the supermarket that’s ready cut.
10 Mushrooms peeled and halved
Half a bottle of Red wine ( don’t use your good stuff though!) or you could use a can of stout which also makes a great stew.
1 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 Beef stock pot – or oxo cube
1 tbsp Fresh rosemary or 2 tsp dried if you don’t have fresh.
1 tbsp Flour
Salt and Pepper.

Fry your beef chunks in hot oil in small batches and set aside. You just want to brown the edges, not cook it though so only about 1 minute. If you add too much at once the beef will stew and become tough and no one wants tough beef in a stew unless you are a dog.

Fry the onions, celery and shallots until going soft then add the garlic and fry for a few more minutes.

Add the chopped root vegetables and keep moving around the casserole dish until they start going soft.

Add the beef back into the pot and a heaped tablespoon of flour and salt and pepper and stir until the mixture is coated in flour.

add a beef stock pot, a tablespoon of tomato puree and half a bottle of red wine and give it a good stir making sure you scrape all the goodness off the bottom of the pan. Cook for a few minutes on a high heat then add the tinned tomatoes.

Add your fresh herbs and cook slowly in the oven until the beef is falling apart. If you sauce is not thick enough at the end take a table spoon of sauce and mix with a tablespoon of cornflour in a cup and then re add to the casserole and cook for another 10 mins. DON’T just put the cornflour in dry or it will just turn into bug lumps.

Add salt and pepper if needed

Serve in a big bowl with big wedges of bread covered in REAL salted butter ( non of this utterly butterly stuff)! or dumplings.. or with creamy mash.. or all 3 if you can handle the carbs! and eat it on your knee in front of the tv.

If you have any leftovers it tastes even better on day 2.

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