Beef Casserole – Hubby’s been ‘testing’ it for hours

Right until this second, when hubby told me the recipe I’m about to write is ‘nothing hard’ and all you need is some chicken noodle soup to flavour meat and then slow cook it for success, I was feeling pretty good about my kitchen prowess. See, that’s why we get married, to prevent our heads outgrowing our bodies 🙂 That said, he hasn’t stopped pulling the dish from the oven to ‘taste’ it either before or since, saying it’s ‘F*&^ing beautiful’. Given he normally pushes food around his plate better than a two-year-old before saying he’s full, I believe this might be my best dish yet 🙂

Despite his ‘praise’ I shall now attempt to write a recipe for what we both think a fairly spectacular dish I’ve come up with in my usual ‘if it’s in the fridge/cupboard, just throw it in’ style. I can’t tell you how many wonderful recipes I’ve cooked in just such a fashion – mainly because I never write them down and so cannot recreate, let alone count, them! I often wonder if writing it down as I create would help or hinder the process…

Beef Casserole

20150405_164525_resized It looks fairly ordinary in the picture, but trust me – there’s nothing ordinary in the flavour

http://www.metric-conversions.org/weight/grams-to-ounces-table.htm – a great conversion tool re grams to ounces

http://www.metric-conversions.org/volume-conversion.htm Conversion tools

Ingredients: (anything written in brackets is approximate as I don’t measure anymore when cooking)

  • Generous amount of olive oil (2 – 3 tbl)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, diced – crush with back of knife before adding to olive oil
  • Dried Italian herbs (2 tbl)
  • 500g stewing beef, roughly cut into 3cm cubes
  • Turmeric (2 tsp)
  • Cinnamon (2 tsp)
  • Mustard powder (1 tbl)
  • Cardamom (2 tsp)
  • Ginger powder (1 tbl) Hubby hates this, unless he doesn’t see me add it to recipes 🙂
  • 1/2 packet French onion soup mix
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 2/3 of pack of Continental Rich Beefy Mince
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground Pepper
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 large zucchini (slice thinly & dice I hide this from Hubby – he only eats/enjoys it when unaware it’s there 🙂 )
  • Butternut pumpkin (100g), 1cm cubes
  • 3 medium potatoes, 1cm cubes
  • 1 large tomato, roughly chopped & skin removed

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC [356ºF]
  2. Lightly cook garlic: Place oil, garlic and herbs in oven dish (I use one that goes from stovetop to oven). With heat on high, ‘stir-fry’ the garlic for 30 seconds.
  3. Brown meat: Add meat to pan and coat with oil mixture. Heat remains on high as you stir meat to seal flavour in; scrape the base of the dish to mix ingredients through meat as it browns.
  4. Turn heat off. Add turmeric, cinnamon, mustard, cardamom and ginger. Stir through.
  5. Sprinkle French onion soup over the top of the meat.
  6. Pour 750ml beef stock into pan and stir through.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Mix Rich Beefy Mince pack with remaining beef stock. Add to pan and stir through.
  9. Add vegetables to pan; stir through.
  10. Place dish in oven. Cook for 2 hours. Reduce heat to 130C and cook for one hour more. Thicken with cornflour, if required.

Serve over white rice with dinner rolls.

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