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Italian-style Beef Casserole

Updated: Jan 25, 2019

This is a great winter warmer for meat lovers! Hearty and rich, it works well as a family meal or when entertaining. The key to getting it right is to slow cook it e.g. over 6 hours.


1 kg lean diced casserole beef steak (ideally organic beef)

1 largely onion, chopped finely

2 large cloves of garlic, chopped finely

200ml of red wine

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

2 x 15 ml tomato purée

1 x 500g bags of ready prepared beef stock (available in most supermarkets)

bunch of fresh basil leaves

2 oz flour

6 oz brown cap mushrooms or button mushrooms, wiped and halved

salt and pepper


Gently heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a wide-based sauteuse or frying pan. Add the onions and sauté until soft. Add the garlic, and fry for about one minute, ensuring that the garlic doesn't brown. Tip the onions and garlic into a slow cooker or a Le Creuset-type oven dish with a lid.

Now brown the beef. You will need to do this in batches, as otherwise you will end up with the beef stewing on the hob or not browning well. To brown the beef, add olive oil to the pan, and heat gently. Add the beef cubes in batches, to sauté and brown. Reserve each cooked batch on a plate. Once all the beef has been browned, tip it all back into the sauteuse pan, add the flour and cook for a minute, ensuring it doesn't burn or stick.

Tip all the beef into the casserole or slow cooker dish.

Add all the remaining ingredients except for the mushrooms. Set on a low heat (e.g. 120C in the oven, or a low heat setting on the slow cooker), and leave to cook for 4-6 hours in the dish with the lid on. If you are cooking the casserole in the oven, you will need to check to ensure that the casserole isn't drying out. (You can cook it for longer, but just check it doesn't dry out. Add a little water if that happens.)

An hour before serving, add the mushrooms.

You should find that the liquid has reduced to make a lovely rich gravy.

If the gravy it isn't thick enough for your liking, you can thicken the sauce by putting a spoonful of the liquid from the casserole dish into a small saucepan on a low heat. Add 1/2-1 tablespoonful of flour, depending on how much liquid you are trying to thicken. Stir the flour into the liquid with a wooden spoon until it makes a smooth paste. Keep the heat low. Keep adding the liquid from the casserole dish in very gradually, stirring well each time, so you keep the mixture smooth. When you have a thick(er) sauce, tip it back into the beef in the casserole dish and continue to heat until ready to serve.

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