While on holidays in a wonderful little fishing shack with a wood fire stove, the Dragon and I enjoyed making beautiful basics. We made casseroles and damper and all things hearty. I didn’t have access to all that much, just what I could get at the little shop at the closest small town, but with very basic ingredients I enjoyed making what I consider to be a perfect beef casserole base. The Worcestershire sauce makes all the difference. I tried to take some pictures but the lighting was atrocious and made wonderful food look terrible.
I don’t have access to a wood fire stove at home, but I’ve tweaked the base to be made in a slow cooker to fill your house with mouth-watering smells by evening and melt in your mouth deliciousness by night. This slow cooked beef casserole is so beautiful and feels wonderful in the nose, mouth and belly.
- 1kg beef, trimmed of most of the fat, diced into 2cm squares
- 6 x shortcut bacon, diced.
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 stalks of celery, roughly diced
- 2 large carrots, roughly diced
- 1 onion, roughly diced
- 2 tbs tomato paste
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 tbs Worchestershire Sauce
- 2 x 400ml can of diced Italian tomatoes
- Place carrot and celery in your slow cooker.
- Shake beef in a bag with flour, salt and pepper. If you plan to add additional spices, this is the time.
- Seal the beef, add to slow cooker
- In the same pan, brown onion and bacon. I find that the bacon releases more flavour if it has been fried first.
- Add garlic and tomato paste for 1 minute prior to finishing. Add mix to slow cooker.
- Pour beef stock into your pan, scrape up any extra bits left on the bottom of the pan to make sure that you don’t lose any flavour. Pour this into your slow cooker.
- Add red wine, canned tomatoes, stir through.
- Start your slow cooker on high for 30 minutes, then reduce to low heat for at least 3 hours. If you have time, ideally leave this for longer until it is melt in your mouth cooked through. Ideally start this at lunch time on a day when you are at home, and your house will fill with wonderful aromas all afternoon and evening and it will be perfection by dinner time.
My Take Aways
On night two and three we reheated it in small bowls and swerved the bowls on a plate with a side salad so that the juices didn’t go into the salad.