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Beef, capsicum & paprika casserole with herb dumplings


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Serves

4

Prep Time

20

Cook Time

120

Ingredients

1 kg chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef
2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, finely diced
2 medium red capsicums, cut into large dice
2 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp caraway seeds (optional)
400 g can tomato puree (or diced tomatoes)
2.5 cups beef stock
Herb dumplings
60 g cold butter, chopped
1.5 cup self-raising flour
a pinch of salt
a pinch of baking powder
1 tbps chopped chives (or parsley)
0.67 cup cold milk

Method

1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut beef into 2.5-3cm cubes. Season with salt and pepper, and add about 2 tablespoons of oil to the beef, mix well. Heat a large frypan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef in 2 or 3 batches. Remove each batch and place it in a casserole dish.
2 Reduce heat in the pan, add a little oil, add onion and garlic, cook for 1 minute, add carrot and capsicum, cook for 1-2 minutes, and stir occasionally.
3 Sprinkle in paprika, flour and caraway seeds, stir until the carrots and capsicums are coated. Gradually pour in the tomato puree and stock, stirring well. Stir until the mixture boils. Add to the casserole dish, stir to combine. Cover the casserole dish, place in oven. Stir every 40 minutes or so, add water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered. Cook until the beef is very tender.
4 To make and cook kerb dumplings: Using your fingertips rub the butter into the flour. Add the salt and baking powder and chives (or parsley), mix well. Make a hole in the centre, add the cold milk, and mix lightly until just combined.
5 Test your casserole, if the meat is tender (and just about ready to serve) you can now add the dumpling mixture. Drop small spoonfuls of the mixture around the edge of the simmering casserole. Re-cover the casserole dish and cook casserole for a further 15-20 minutes.
6 Cooktop method: Place the browned beef and other ingredients in a heavy-based pot. Partially cover, keep the heat low. Stir occasionally, add water if needed during the cooking time to keep ingredients well covered. Simmer until the meat is very tender.

Tips

1 Best beef cuts for or casseroling: Chuck or Boneless shin/Gravy beef, Osso bucco (these cuts take 2-2½ hours to cook). Topside, Round and Blade take 1-1½ hours to cook.
2 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.
3 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.
4 A casserole will keep for up to 2 to 3 days in the refrigerator.
5 Casseroles should be refrigerated immediately after the steam from cooking has evaporated. Place the hot casserole into a shallow container, and then into 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.
6 To cook in a Slow Cooker: Brown the beef well as per the recipe and place in the slow cooker. Place the onions, garlic, carrot and capsicum in to the slow cooker with the beef. Blend the paprika, flour and caraway seeds with the tomato puree and beef stock, add to the beef. You may need to add a little beef stock or water if it appears that the liquid does not cover the beef. Cover the slow cooker with its lid, cook on Low Setting for 8-10 hours or the High Setting for 4-5 hours.
7 Note: The herb dumplings will not cook as well a slow cooker (due to the low temperature), so best to omit them.