Beef Casserole

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Beef needs longer and gentler cooking than other stewing meats to become tender, but it can produce a most satisfying, rich flavour. I like to use plenty of garlic which becomes sweet and mild during the extended cooking. Onions are also necessary, I feel, for their sweet softness. You can experiment with different vegetables such as celery and root vegetables, adding them when you add the onions. This quantity serves 4-5.

Ingredients

  • 25 g (1 oz) plain flour
  • 1 kg (2 lb) stewing steak, such as chuck, cut into large chunks
  • 3 rounded tablespoons meat dripping or lard
  • 2 large onions, chopped roughly
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped roughly
  • 300 ml (½ pint) beef stock or red wine
  • 397 g (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Put the flour and salt and pepper into a polythene food bag, add the beef and shake to coat evenly in the flour. Melt the fat in a flameproof casserole over a fairly high heat. Add the beef.

  2. Cook the beef until browned on all sides. Remove and set aside. Add the chopped onions to the casserole, with more fat, if necessary. Stir until softened and slightly browned, then add the garlic. Stir in any surplus flour from the bag and cook for 3 minutes, then return the meat and any juices to the casserole.

  3. Gradually stir in the stock or wine, tomatoes and mustard. Continue stirring until bubbling and thickened, then season with salt, black pepper and sugar. Cover and cook at 150°C, 300°F, Gas Mark 2 for 3-3½ hours until tender. Before serving add a handful of chopped parsley.