Beef Winter Warmers

Embrace the winter chill with a hearty beef casserole, the perfect meal to warm up a cool evening. A comforting beef casserole is a traditional winter staple and its tenderness is guaranteed to melt away the winter blues. It is simple to prepare a beef casserole – follow these three top tips and then let the oven or cooktop takeover while you relax!

Choose the right beef cut for the cooking time:

  • The richest flavour and most succulent meat comes from chuck, boneless shin/gravy beef and osso bucco, but these cuts require a longer cooking time.
  • Topside, blade and round beef only need about an hour to an hour and a half for maximum tenderness, so they are great options if time is of the essence.

Browning the meat: the beef should be browned in small batches (about 200g each). The pan should be kept at a medium to high heat to avoid the beef stewing in its own juices.

Simmer the casserole gently and taste to test if it’s ready: whatever the suggested cut, the beef should be tender enough to fall apart easily with a fork.

Beef cuts (2.5-3cm cubes or thickness)

Approximate cooking time

Guide to cooking temperatures

Chuck, boneless shin/ gravy beef,
osso bucco

2-2 ½ hours

160-180?C

Topside, round, blade

1-1 ½ hours

160-180?C

 

simple beef casseroleSimple beef casserole

Serves: 4-6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time:  2-2 ½ hours

Ingredients:

1kg chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 tbsp plain flour
3 cups beef stock
a good shake each Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce
4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut beef into 2.5-3cm cubes. Season the beef with salt and pepper, add 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 it in a casserole dish.
  2. Reduce heat in the pan, add a little oil, onion and carrot and cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Sprinkle in flour and stir until the vegetables are coated. Gradually pour in stock, stirring well. Add the Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and herbs and stir until the mixture boils. Remove fry pan from heat, transfer contents to the casserole dish and stir to combine. Cover the casserole dish and place in the oven. Stir every 40 minutes or so, adding water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered. Cook until the beef is very tender.

 

beef, potato and tomato curryBeef, potato & tomato curry

Serves: 4-6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2-2 ½ hours

Ingredients:

1kg chuck or boneless shin/gravy beef
1 large onion, diced
3 tbsp mild curry paste
1 tbsp plain flour
400g can diced tomatoes
2½ cups beef stock
300g sweet potato or potato, cut into large dice
fresh coriander, chopped (optional)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut beef into 2.5-3cm cubes. Season the beef with salt and pepper, add 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 it in a casserole dish.
  2. Reduce heat in the pan, add a little oil and onion and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the curry paste and flour and stir until the onion is coated. Gradually pour in the tomatoes and stock, stirring well. Stir until the mixture boils. Transfer to the casserole dish and stir to combine. Cover the casserole dish and place it in the oven. Stir every 40 minutes or so, adding water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered. Cook until the beef is very tender. Add the potatoes in the last 30 minutes cooking time. Sprinkle with coriander to serve.

 

beef stroganoffBeef stroganoff

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients:

1kg blade steak
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
2 cloves garlic, crushed
200g Swiss brown or button mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp cornflour
pasta or noodles to serve
fresh dill

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Cut blade steaks across the grain into 1.5cm wide strips. Season with salt and pepper, add a little oil to the beef strips and mix well.
  2. Heat a wok or fry pan and ensure it is hot. Stir-fry the beef in 2 or 3 batches, remove each batch and place in a casserole dish. Add a little oil to pan, add the onion, garlic and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes or until the mushrooms soften. Add the tomato paste and stock and stir until the mixture boils. Pour over the beef in the casserole dish and stir to combine.
  3. Cover the casserole dish, place in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the beef is tender. In the last 10 minutes of cooking time, stir in the combined sour cream, mustard and cornflour. Serve with pasta or noodles and sprinkle with chopped dill leaves.
 
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