Vegetarians/Vegans: You may wish to look away 😦  Or check this post for a Vegetable Stew instead 🙂

For a few weeks I have been ‘fancying’ beef stew.

Now, that just is not like me at all…  So I ignored it…and ignored it…but the craving just would not go away.  I guess my body was after some nutrition found within a beef stew?  So, last weekend I set about creating a beef casserole to my liking – ‘casserole’ because I like the long, slow cooking method for stewing steak to make it tender and juicy.  That casserole meant no fatty meat…mucho flavour…and plenty of vegetables within!  Although the carrots have to be chopped small enough to not notice their flavour in the final dish(can’t abide the flavour of boiled carrots).  I don’t omit them as the nutrition value is good, and a stew/casserole always has carrots in it!

This is what went into, and came out of, the pot!

Beef Casserole(Serves 4)

400g stewing steak, washed, dried and cubed

15g plain flour

Fresh black pepper

1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

2 tablespoons butter

250g shallots, peeled and ‘top-n-tailed’

4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped small

2 medium leeks, stripped, washed and chopped into 1″ pieces

1 small swede, peeled and cubed

300g potatoes, peeled and thickly cubed

100g frozen peas

300ml beef stock

2 tablespoons mustard

Pre-heat the Oven:  160*C Fan

Tip the plain flour, dried mixed herbs and some fresh, ground black pepper in to a medium freezer bag.  Shake up.  Add in the cubed beef and mix very thoroughly. so the beef is coated with the flour mix – there will be no loose flour left

In a casserole dish, melt one tablespoon of butter over a medium heat and add half of the beef.  Brown the beef on all sides, then remove to a plate.  Repeat with the other tablespoon of butter and remaining beef.

Tip the shallots in to the butter/beef juices, cover with a lid, and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add all of the other vegetables(except for the peas) and stir well to coat in the juices.  Allow to heat in the covered pan for one minute, then add the beef.  Season well with plenty of fresh, ground black pepper.  Pour over the beef stock, mix the mustard in to the liquid and stir all ingredients well.  Cover with the lid, and bring to the boil.

Once bubbling, move the pan to the pre-heated oven and cook for one hour.  Remove, stir well and add a little extra stock/boiling water if the stock has reduced.  Re-cover, and return to the hot oven for 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven, add the frozen peas and mix in.  Re-cover and return to the hot oven for 20 minutes(total cooking time = 2 hours).

Serve and enjoy!

A bowl of chopped veggies…

Shallots from dad’s garden – these were stroooonggg and fab!!!  Some tear-liquid eked from my eyes during prep…ha!

Tatties 😛

All stirred up and ready for the oven:

Almost there – a splash of colour with peas…

This final picture just does not do it justice:

The gravy was thick and tasty, the beef tender and juicy, plenty of veg in there.  It was good.  Herby dumplings on top would have been good but I didn’t go there on this occasion.  Potatoes provided more fill.

If I had been feeding several people, this would have been a pleasure to take to the table to serve.  So good.

That’s that little craving dealt with!

Do you notice any food cravings that seem strange?


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