Beef and lentils with rosemary
1 kg chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
3 cups beef stock
0.5 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup brown lentils, well rinsed
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
couscous and steamed green vegetables to serve
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut beef into 2.5cm-3cm cubes. Season with salt and pepper, add 2 tbsp oil, and mix well. Heat a large frypan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef in 2 or 3 batches. Remove each batch and place in casserole dish.
- Reduce heat in the pan, add a little oil, add onion, carrots, celery and garlic, cook for 12 minutes, and stir occasionally.
- Gradually pour in the stock, add the chilli and rosemary, stir until the mixture boils. Add to the casserole dish, stir to combine. Cover the casserole dish, place in oven, and cook for 40 minutes. Stir the lentils, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Return to oven and cook until the beef is very tender. Stir every 40 minutes or so, add water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered.
- Serve with couscous and steamed green vegetables.
- Don't rush the initial stage of browning the meat. This will make your casserole rich in colour and flavour. Brown the meat in small batches over a medium-high heat.
- Simmer the casserole gently and taste it to see if it's ready. Stir occasionally and adjust the heat as it cooks if needed. When it's done the meat should be tender enough to fall apart easily with a fork.
- A casserole will keep for up to 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator. Casseroles should be refrigerated immediately after the steam from cooking has evaporated. Place the hot casserole into a shallow container in the fridge so it cools quickly. Do not leave it to cool completely on the bench. To serve bring it slowly to the boil over a medium heat, reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes, or until the meat and sauce are both thoroughly hot.
- Best beef cuts for or casseroling: Chuck or Boneless shin/Gravy beef (these cuts take 2-2½ hours to cook). Topside, Round and Blade take 1-1½ hours to cook.