Red Velvet Casserole of Beef


A precooked casserole is useful to have ready over Christmas to heat up when everyone is tired of cold turkey. This flavourful beef, wrapped thickly in a smooth red sauce, looks particularly festive.


  • rind and juice of 1 large orange
  • 1 lb (400 g) cooked beetroot
  • 1 level tablespoon (15 ml spoon) sugar
  • 2-3 cloves garlic
  • ½ pt (250 ml) water
  • 1¾-2 lb (700-800 g) best stewing steak
  • 1 oz (25 g) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (2 x 15 ml spoon) olive or sunflower oil
  • 2 rounded teaspoons (4 x 5 ml spoon) ground ginger
  • 1 rounded tablespoon (2 x 15 ml spoon) plain flour
  • salt, black pepper
  • 1 carton fresh soured cream


Grate the orange rind. Roughly chop the beetroot and put into a liquidiser with the orange juice, orange rind, sugar, garlic and water. Whizz to a smooth purée. You may need to do this quantity in two goes. Cut up the stewing steak into largish slices.

Melt the butter and oil together in an iron-based casserole on top of the stove or in a large saucepan. Stir the meat into the melted fat and sprinkle on the ground ginger. Remove from heat and stir in a level tablespoonful of plain flour. Heat the beetroot purée and stir into the beef. If you are already using a casserole put on the lid and cook in a preheated oven at Gas Mark 1/275°F/140°C for 2-2½ hours or until the beef is tender (if you started in a saucepan transfer the mixture to a casserole). Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper.

Just before serving, spoon the soured cream over the top. Serve with baked potatoes or rice and a green vegetable or salad.