Casserole of Beef with Vegetables and Pommes Puree

Serves 6

This is the ideal food for comfort eating over the wintery months. It is a family dish with an earthy flavour that develops through each stage of the cooking process. It is a wonderful example of slow cooking that takes time, although it doesn’t necessarily involve constant attention or too much preparation. Allow three days to prepare. This dish tastes great the day after it is made.

Ingredients

250 ml red wine sauce (see sauces and sides)

750 ml cabernet sauvignon

2 medium-sized carrots, peeled and thickly sliced

1.5 kg stewing beef, such as chuck steak or gravy beef, cut into golf ball-sized pieces

2 large leeks, washed and white part thickly sliced

2 celery sticks, thickly sliced

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs of thyme

1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns

6 small brown onions, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup plain flour

3 heaped tablespoons tomato paste

Pommes purée, to serve (see sauces and sides)

Method

Preheat oven to 220°C (420°F).

Place all the ingredients except olive oil, flour and tomato paste in a large ceramic or glass bowl. Gently mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two days.Remove the meat from the bowl, drain and pat dry with paper towels.

Strain the marinade into a jug and place the vegetables and herbs in a bowl and set aside. Place a large casserole dish over a medium to high heat. Add olive oil and when it is hot, add the meat in batches, sear on all sides until browned. Remove the meat and set aside in a warm place. Repeat with remaining batches of meat. Place the reserved vegetables and herbs into the casserole dish. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Return the meat to the casserole dish, sprinkle with plain flour. Stir until well combined.

Leaving the casserole dish uncovered, place in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove, place on the stove over medium heat. Reduce the oven temperature to 160°C. Add the reserved marinade to the casserole along with the tomato paste. Stir to combine. Top up with hot water until all the ingredients are just covered. Place the lid on the casserole dish, bring to the boil and place back in the oven for 2 ½ hours.

Serve with pomme puree (mashed potato).