Before Winter Ends: Beef and Red Wine Casserole

I thought before winter ends that I would make one last casserole. The days are warming up to 20-22oC next week, so while the temperature is still in the teens we set about to make a delicious Beef and Wine Casserole.



Ingredients:


Meat (Lamb, Beef, Chicken, Pork – Anything will do really)
Oil (we use rice bran oil in our house, but olive oil is probably the more traditional)
Butter
Onion or Leek
Garlic
Carrot
Celery
Plain Flour
Tomato Paste
Wine
Stock
Chopped or Canned Tomatoes
Oregano

*I don’t like talking in amounts, because really I think it is good to just use what you have. So just use common sense and have faith in your cooking abilities and create a meal. For reference, in our house we generally use 500g of meat and 1 onion, and we feed a toddler, a child, an adult and a hungry adult and we usually have a little bit spare at the end of the meal.


So to make a basic casserole here is what you do:

First of all, grab a big heavy based pot and heat a glug of oil and a large teaspoon of butter. I use the term “glug” a lot when talking about oil – I guess the measurement would be about a Tablespoon? Maybe? – However much you can pour while counting to one… thats a glug. While that is heating chop up your meat, however big you want, as long as they are around about the same size. My Mum used to just use whole chops for stuff like this too.

Anyway, when the oil is warm and the butter is melted, chuck in the meat and brown it off. Once it is browned off, tip it into a bowl (juices and all) and set it aside

 

The next step is to prepare the veg. So put your heavy based pot back on the heat and put in another glug of oil and teaspoon of butter and while that is heating, chop your veg. Now, normally it would be 1 onion, some carrot, some celery and a garlic clove, BUT we have a child here who could sniff out an onion if I hid it under a pile of dirty socks, and I really didn’t feel like the “IT WON’T KILL YOU TO EAT ONION” argument (which occurs most other nights), so I decided I would use a leek instead. I didn’t have any celery or garlic either so I didn’t worry about using it. Again, chop them so they are all kind of the same size.

Then put them into the pot and cook them off. Try to actually get them in the pot, because that kind of helps with the cooking process.

 

When the onion (or leek in my case) is starting to look a little clear and the carrot a little soft, throw in a few spoonfuls of plain flour and a large spoonful of tomato paste. Then stir that around a bit to cook off the flour. It should look like you have a big glug of meat and paste.

 

Once that looks a bit grosse, and like something your cat threw up, then you put in your wine (I generally use a cup of wine no matter the size of the meal I am cooking). Then you add in some tomatoes, fresh or canned doesn’t really matter. I had about 1/2 a cans  worth sitting in the fridge, left over from pasta the other night and so I just used that. Give it a big stir and it should start looking a little more appetising.

 

Next, add some stock. I generally just add a cup at a time and give it a stir, depending on how watery I want my stew to be. When I was making this casserole I realised I didn’t have any beef or vegie stock, but I did have an empty jar of vegemite ready to be washed out for recycling. So I just filled it up with some warm water, put the lid on, gave it a shake, and before you can say “alakazam!” you have beef stock!

 

In the end I stopped adding stock when it looked like this. Turn the heat down to low and let it simmer away for as long as you want. I left it on the stove for about 1 & 1/2 hours and give it a bit of a stir every 10-15mins.

 

If you want to add more veg you can. Root vegetables (the hard ones like potato, parsnip, turnip and pumpkin) I would chop up and add after you have added the stock. Any other veg (like broccoli, zucchini, peas and capsicum) I steam about 15 minutes before serving and then stir them in then.

AND YUMMO!!! One basic Beef and Wine Casserole! How full of hearty goodness does that look????

What’s your favourite winter recipe?

One thought on “Before Winter Ends: Beef and Red Wine Casserole

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