Hearty Beef Casserole

People usually hate the idea of heart but this a rich and strongly flavoured dish, good for winter weekend lunches or suppers. It is the heart which gives the rich flavour, but if you think your family will refuse to eat it, don’t tell them about the heart. They will never know.

Ingredients

  • ½ lb ox heart (225 g)
  • 1 lb stewing beef (450 g)
  • ½ lb smoked streaky bacon – thickly sliced and roughly chopped (225 g)
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • about ¾ pint stock (425 ml) made from mixing and heating together 1 glass of red wine, ½ pint beef stock (275 ml), a sprinkling of Worcestershire sauce, black pepper and salt to taste
  • ½ lb carrots peeled and chopped (225 g)
  • 1 onion – peeled and chopped
  • 4 cooking tomatoes – chopped (crushed together in a mortar)
  • few coriander seeds
  • about 8 juniper berries
  • a few allspice berries
  • 2–3 cardamom pods – roughly crushed
  • a little oil and butter for pan

Method

Chop beef and heart into cubes. (Discard any tubes in the heart.) Melt enough oil and butter to thickly cover the bottom of an iron casserole dish. Stir the beef, heart and bacon into the fat. Stir in the flour. Add the heated stock and stir. Bring gently to the boil until it thickens. Take off the heat and add the chopped carrots, the onion and tomatoes and the crushed spices. Put back on the heat and bring to simmering point. Cover dish and put in a low oven Gas 1 (275°F/140°C) for 3½–4 hours. Serve with boiled long grain rice and a green vegetable or salad.

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