The 'master' beef casserole
1 kg Chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef
1 Large onion, halved and sliced
2 Medium carrots, thickly sliced
2 tbsp Plain flour
3 cups Beef stock
A good shake each Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce
0 5 Sprigs fresh thyme
2 Bay leaves (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut beef into 2.5cm-3cm cubes. Season with salt and pepper, add about 2 tablespoons of 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 the vegetables, cook for 1-2 minutes, stir occasionally.
- Sprinkle in flour and stir until the vegetables are coated. Gradually pour in stock or other liquid, stirring well. Add the remaining flavour base ingredients, stiring until the mixture boils. Add to the casserole dish, stir to combine.
- Cover the casserole dish, place in oven and cook until the beef is very tender. Stir every 40 minutes or so, adding water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered.
- Cooktop method: Place the browned beef and other ingredients in a heavy-based pot. Partially cover, keep the heat low. Simmer until the meat is very tender. Stir occasionally, adding water if needed to keep ingredients just covered.
- 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.
- 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.