Rise of the Slow Cooker

WARM UP THIS WINTER WITH SUCCULENT BEEF

Comforting, full of flavour and simple to prepare, slow cooked beef is the perfect way to warm up a cold winter’s day! Whether you prefer a hearty beef bourguignon or a spicy beef curry, casseroling is a foolproof technique that will lead you to endless winter warming possibilities.

Simply follow these three tips and delicious recipes to impress your family and friends with your new winter repertoire!

Match the beef cut to the cooking time you have available. Chuck and boneless shin/gravy beef offer the richest flavour and the most succulent meat. However, topside, round and blade are great choices for quicker week night meals as they cook more quickly.

Brown the beef – Don’t rush the initial stage of browning the beef. Brown it in 2 or 3 batches and keep the pan at a medium-high heat so the beef doesn’t stew in its own juices.

Let your dish simmer gently as it gives a richer flavoured dish. Controlling the heat is important as too low a heat and the dish will be flavourless, too high a heat and the mixture will boil resulting in less tender meat.

 

1Beef_BourguignonBeef Bourguignon

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 2 - 2 1/2 hours Serves: 6

1.5kg chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef, diced in 2.5 - 3cm cubes

4 sprigs flat-leaf parsley

4-5 sprigs of thyme

1 fresh bay leaf

2 cups red wine

1 cup beef stock

1 tbsp plain flour

1 tbsp olive oil

30g butter

12 (about 280g) small pickling onions or shallots, peeled

200g button mushrooms, stalks trimmed

250g bacon, rind removed, cut into short strips

1 cup water

1. Place beef in a large bowl, add the herbs and wine. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Drain the beef and put aside the marinade and herbs. Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Heat a large frypan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef in 3 batches. Remove each batch and place in a casserole dish. Pour over the reserved marinade and herbs. Add the stock and flour. Stir to mix.

3. Cover the casserole dish and place in oven. Stir every 40 minutes or so, adding water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered. Cook until the beef is almost tender (about 1 hour and 20 minutes).

4. Heat the oil and butter in a small frypan, add the onions and cook stirring for 10 minutes or until lightly golden (but not soft), remove and set aside. Cook the mushrooms in 2 batches, adding a little more butter if needed, remove and set aside. Add the bacon to the pan and cook until crispy. Add the onions, mushrooms, bacon and water to the beef and stir gently to combine. Cook for a further 20-30 minutes or until the beef is tender.

 

1Massaman_CurryBeef Massaman Curry

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 2 - 2 1/2 hours Serves: 4 - 6 1kg chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef, diced into 2.5 -3cm cubes

2 cloves garlic, crushed 4cm piece ginger, grated 1/3 cup massaman curry paste 21?2 cups beef stock 400ml can coconut milk 2 large potatoes, peeled, cubed 2 tsp fish sauce fried basil leaves and roasted peanuts to serve

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Season the beef with salt and pepper and add about 2 tablespoons of oil to beef and mix well. Heat a large frypan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef in 2 or 3 batches. Remove each batch and place in a casserole dish.

2. Reduce heat in pan to medium and add a little extra oil. Add the garlic, ginger and curry paste, cook for 1 - 2 minutes, stir often. Pour in the stock, stirring well. Pour the mixture over the beef in the casserole dish and stir to combine. Cover the casserole dish and place in the oven. Stir every 40 minutes or so, adding a little water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered. Cook until the beef is almost tender (about 90 minutes).

3. Add the coconut milk, potatoes and fish sauce. Cook for a further 30 minutes or until the beef is very tender. Garnish with fried basil leaves and roasted peanuts to serve.

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1Beef_StroganoffBeef Stroganoff

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 - 40 minutes Serves: 4

1kg blade steak, sliced across the grain (about 1cm wide), or use beef stir-fry strips

1 onion, cut into thin wedges

2 cloves garlic, crushed

200g button mushrooms, thickly sliced

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 cups beef stock

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp cornflour

To serve, pasta or egg noodles, fresh dill or chives (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add a little oil to the beef strips, mix well.

2. Heat a wok or frypan, ensure it is hot. Stir-fry the beef in 3 batches, remove each batch and place in a casserole dish. Add a little oil to pan, add onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes or until onions softens. Add the tomato paste and stock, stir until the mixture boils. Pour over the beef in the casserole dish and stir to combine.

3. Cover the casserole dish, place in oven, cook for 30 - 40 minutes or until beef is tender. In the last 10 minutes of cooking time, stir in the combined sour cream, mustard and cornflour. Serve with pasta or egg noodles and sprinkle with chopped dill or chives.

 

1Italian_Beef_CasseroleItalian-style Beef Casserole

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 2 - 2 1/2 hours

Serves: 4 - 6

1kg chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef, diced into 2.5 - 3cm cubes

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red capsicum, chopped

1 green capsicum, chopped

2 tbsp plain flour

2 cups beef stock

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp dried oregano

400g can diced tomatoes

400g can cannellini beans, drained

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Season the beef with salt and pepper, add about 2 tablespoons of oil and mix well. Heat a large frypan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef in 2 or 3 batches. Remove each batch and place in a casserole dish.

2. Reduce heat in pan and add a little oil. Add the onion, garlic and capsicums, cook for 1 - 2 minutes and stir occasionally.

3. Sprinkle in the flour and stir until the vegetables are coated. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring well. Add the tomato paste and oregano. Pour over the beef in the casserole dish and stir to combine. Cover the casserole dish, place in the oven and cook until the beef is very tender. In the last 30 minutes of cooking time, add the tomatoes and cannellini beans.

 
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