After a glorious two weeks in Southern Brittany we’ve returned to a very autumnal London – conkers, auburn leaves, rain, windfall apples littering the patio.
So there’s only one thing for it – a nice old fashioned casserole. Both my mum and my gran used to knock out a cracking beef stew with a bit of this and a bit of that. One of my favourite early food memories was being given slices of bread and butter to mop up the gravy with until the plates were gleaming!
This recipe is one i’ve been using for quite a few years now and have adapted it along the way. It’s classic man food and a great crowd-pleaser if you’ve got a gaggle of people coming over and you just want a simple dish to serve up that doesn’t require much fuss.
500g beefsteak, cubed
3 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
3 tbsps plain flour
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
300ml brown/dark ale
1 beefstock cube or a dash of liquid beef concentrated stock
1 carrot, sliced into rounds
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
sprig of rosemary or a couple of bayleaves
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180’C.
2. Put the bacon and beef into a bowl and coat with the flour and seasoning.
3. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, Sautee the onion and garlic until soft,
4. Add the bacon and beef to the softened onion and garlic and lightly brown.
5. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with a lid. If there’s not enough liquid you can either top up with hot water or more beer. Cook for 2.5 – 3 hours.
It’s a great dish to warm your cockles, but also fab for convenience coz there’s not much preparation to wade through – you just need to make sure you’ve got it in the oven early to mid afternoon in time for everyone’s dinner.
It’s also pretty cheap so good for the budget conscious among us who’ve spent quite a lot this summer and need to make some serious cutbacks!
It’s great served with rice, mash or jacket potatoes with a healthy side of greens. Why not make double and freeze down the leftovers for a quick nutritious supper when you’ve not got time to cook.