This is one of my mum’s dishes that we used to love when we were small, admittedly I have messed about with it a bit, adding a small amount of alcohol – marsala to be precise – I love it’s raisiny sweetness, though sherry or red wine could be used instead.
Mum used to stick to adding a basic mix of potatoes, carrots and onions to the meat, while I have been a little more adventurous and also added swede and sweet potato. I have, in the past, also added mushrooms and/or peppers too.
It’s a forgiving recipe, just add whatever vegetables you have to hand.
My family have always called this dish a stew, but here Queen Delia of Smith explains the difference:
So, If Delia says it’s a casserole, it’s a casserole! (But we’re still going to call it a stew!)
“Stewing is done on the top of a cooker with heat being applied directly to the underneath of the pot; while casseroling takes place inside the oven with heat circulating all around the pot. In both cases the meat is cut up fairly small and cooked in a liquid (stock, wine, water, cider or whatever)”
It’s been quite a difficult week for us, Mr. AAKT had a bit of an accident last Thursday night with an oil filter machine. To cut a long story short we’ve been to hospital three times during the past week and he’s had almost a week off work, which has been quite challenging in itself as we are self-employed, and as such have no back-up staff to take over in emergencies. But, he’s improving and is back at work as of today.
So, I’ve been working more and as such have needed to make meals which are as hassle-free as possible, this casserole apart from the initial chopping of the veg, can be left on it’s own to cook in the oven for hours (In my case while I was at work)
Mum’s beef Stew (Insert the word casserole here if wanted)
800g diced beef, suitable for stewing
750g small new potatoes
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
2 small onions, peeled and finely sliced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into small cubes
quarter of a large swede, peeled and cut into small cubes
1 cup tomato passata
half a cup of marsala, sherry or red wine
salt & pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tbsp flavourless vegetable oil.
1. Simply place all the ingredients into an oven proof baking dish, mix well and cover either with a lid, or foil.
2. Cook at 150deg.C (fan oven) 170deg.C (Electric oven) or gas mark 3, for about 3-4 hours, keep an eye on it though, you may need to turn it down even more for the final hour.
3. Serve in bowls, wrapped in a blanket, with the heating on, on the settee! (maybe not if you’re somewhere hot!)