Tuesday: What’s Cooking?

Finding the perfect Tuesday night meal can be taxing on a warm summer night like this one. A one-pan wonder might be the answer that you are looking for, which solves the issue of dinner. For tonight, I’ve managed to find a recipe that can be done in one pot, that I thought you might thoroughly enjoy. It’s called, “Slow-Cooked Summer Beef Casserole,” and it can be savoured with anything from couscous to a delicious naan. What makes this a summer meal is the medley of vegetables that give it a vibrant colour, and hearty enough to be a stand-alone meal if you’re not digging the extra carbs. Here is the recipe for you to discover:

Slow Cooked Summer Beef Casserole in a bowl with couscous, red onions and parmesan.

Slow Cooked SUMMER Beef Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 + 1/3 lbs (600g) braising beef chopped into chunks
  • 2 tbsp plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 11 oz (330ml or a little under 1.5 cups) Guinness or other ale
  • 1 + 1/2 cups (360ml) beef stock
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 small courgette/zucchini chopped into chunks
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

To Serve:

  • Freshly chopped parsley
  • 1/4 red onion peeled and thinly sliced
  • Cooked couscous If I’m going for a flavoured couscous, I like Ainsley Harriott’s Spice Sensation with this meal

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 160c/325f.
  • Heat the oil on a medium-high heat in a dutch oven or other heavy based pan. Place the beef in a bowl or bag and add the flour, salt and pepper. Toss together to coat, then add the beef to the pan. Brown the meat all over (should take about 6-8 minutes).
  • Add the garlic,stir and cook for one minute, then add the Guinness and stock.
  • Bring to the boil, stir and place a lid on the pan. Place in the oven and cook for 3 hours (check every hour and top up with a splash of water if it’s starting to look a little dry).
  • After 3 hours add in the in chopped peppers and courgette. Place the lid on and place back in the oven for 5 minutes. This should ensure the veg stays crunchy but is warmed through.
  • Take out of the oven and, sprinkle on the parmesan, parsley and red onion slices, then serve with warm cous cous.

Notes

Want to change the number of servings?You can double or triple the recipe using the same ratio of ingredients.I wouldn’t suggest reducing the quantities as the meat would dry out when cooking for the 3-hour period (and it wouldn’t be fall-apart if you cooked it for less time). This recipe does freeze well though (see instructions below), so you could make it up and freeze some for later.Can I make it ahead?Yes, make the casserole, but don’t add the peppers and courgette, then cool, cover and refrigerate.Reheat in a lidded dish in the oven at 160C/320F for 35-45 minutes until piping hot throughout. Add the peppers and courgette for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Stir once or twice whilst reheating to ensure it heats evenly.You can reheat on the hob if you prefer, although you will need to be careful when stirring so you don’t break down the tender chunks of beef too much. Reheat over a low-medium heat, stirring often until piping hot throughout – which should take 10-15 minutes (adding those chunks of peppers and courgette for the final 5 minutes).Can I freeze this beef casserole?Yes, make the casserole, but don’t add the peppers and courgette. Cool, cover and freeze the casserole, then defrost overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat as per the ‘Can I make it ahead?’ instructions above.Best cut of beef for Beef Casserole:Use either braising steak (chuck steak) or silverside. My preference is braising steak for better flavour.

  • Chuck steak (braising steak) – comes from the forequarter- Consisting of parts of the neck, shoulder blade, and upper arm.
    • It’s a tough but very flavorful cut of meat. It has a lot of connective tissue, which needs long slow cooking to break down and become tender. Cut into bite-size chunks, or you can use bigger chunks and shred the beef into strips.
  • Silverside (bottom round) – comes from the hindquarter – just above the back leg
    • It’s a leaner, inexpensive cut of meat with little marbling. The lack of fat means it doesn’t have as much flavour as chuck steak, so make sure you use good quality stock (as well as the Guinness) to cook it in. It’s good for slow cooking, but must be cooked with moisture/liquid so doesn’t dry out and become tough.

*Recipe taken from kitchensanctuary.com

I’m thinking that this dish could easily be vegan if seitan strips are added, but the cook time would probably not be nearly as long. If someone does the vegan option, please share with a photo, and let us know how it turned out for you. Be sure to make enough for tomorrow because cooking in this heat is so not cool! Pair this with a great glass of wine, my preference these days is an African Riesling from Magnotta. Sweet, rich and bursting with flavour. Check it out and see if I’m right;) Until next time, happy Tuesday everyone!

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