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Kitchen Madness #4 - Simple Beef Casserole

Discussion in 'BoM Blogs' started by Rotku, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    It's one of those nights when I get home from work, find out I took the wrong meat out of the freezer last night and can't be bothered thinking up something creative. Everyone has those nights occasionally, and I'm sure we always have one of those recipes we always like to fall back on. You know the one - nice and simple, yet always tastes great. Well this is mine. I stumbled across it on the web years ago and fell in love instantly. With a few small modifications of my own, I present to you Rotku's Simple Beef Casserole (it's anything but fancy and complicated, so if you've ever cooked a casserole before you're not likely to be learning anything new).

    For those ignorant soles out there, like me, below is the difference between a Casserole and a Stew (had to look it up myself a few weeks ago):
    http://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f57/stew-versus-casserole-32736.html

    I think a simple summary is Stew is slowly cooked on the stove top, whereas casserole is done in the oven. If anyone can elaborate on this, I'd love to hear!
    Ingredients and Method
    Ingredients vary, depending what I have on hand and feel like, but here's the general ones I use.

    • Stewing steak (500gm is the amount I tend to go with), cut into 2cm cubes
    • Golden Syrup (this one surprised me when I first tried it)
    • Wine (usually left over from the previous night)
    • Beef stock, for when there isn't enough wine
    • Beef stock cube (extra to the above entry)
    • Canned tomato
    • Vegetables, cut up into cubes (the amount and what type tend to vary, depending how cheap I'm feeling. Potatoes are always a good filler, and I usually have a large supply of carrots in the garden, but today I'm going simply with Kumara (sweet potato) and Capsicum)
    • Herbs (fresh or dried mixed - usually mixed dry herbs, but today fresh rosemary - was going to put a branch whole, but auto-pilot took over with a knife in hand)

    Method is relatively simple.
    (1) Preheat oven to 160 C (320 F), on Bake (or Fan Bake)

    (2) A quick browning of the beef does serve to keep in the flavour, but if you're lazy it's not needed (I didn't want an extra dish today, but usually do try and brown it).

    (3) Mix beef, vegetables, herbs and canned tomatoes together and throw in Casserole pot.

    (4) Pour wine in, ideally to cover all the ingredients. If you run out of this, top up with Beef stock. I tend to find that I'm usually left with only a cup or so of wine in the fridge (not to mention the fact that for every cup that goes into the meal, one has to go into my glass first - it's only fair), so tend to need beef stock most of the time.

    If you're out of wine, use a bottle of beer. It leaves a different taste - I'd avoid the beef stock with the beer. I do prefer the wine in this, mind you.

    (5) Squirt a good amount of golden syrup over the top. I couldn't understand why at first, but reading up afterwards it seems that the sugar helps to enhance the flavour of the veges. Good enough for me.

    (6) Sprinkle one of those disgusting cubes of that beef stock over top.

    (7) Throw in oven for two or so hours.

    I like to serve it with fresh bread. Today it's just been served straight though, as it's only myself and Lizzie, so there's no need for fullers.

    Beware that sometimes potatoes take longer to cook than other things. If you're wanting it ready dead on 2 hours, it might pay to quickly nuke the potatoes in the microwave before mixing them in.

    Verdict
    This never fails to please me. It's simple, can use what ever is at hand, doesn't involve many dishes and usually tastes pretty good. The compulsory glass of wine.

    Side Note:
    If anyone fancies sharing any (not too expensive) recipes, I always love trying new things! Please do share away.
     
  2. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    Heat distribution - stews are cooked from the bottom up while a casserole has heat circulating around it. A lid or topping is usually used in a casserole because there is usually less liquid added and the moisture comes from the meat and vegetables. A stew generally has more starting liquid in it so doesn't always need a lid - depending on the amount of heat applied, a large vessel may have enough circulating room that a lid is unecessary and even better if the stew needs to evaporate a little.
     
  3. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    That makes sense! Now why couldn't Google tell me that?
     
  4. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    That sounds about right. I've always done stews on the stovetop and casseroles in the oven.
     
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