Not only was I extremely eager to have a bit of a play with my gift, but Melbourne's dreary weather definitely called for a hearty stew. I browsed the "interwebs" for slow cooked casseroles and came across a Jamie Oliver beef and beer recipe. After a few minor tweaks, I threw together a very easy Jamie-inspired beef and Guinness casserole. The verdict? Love the cookware, love the casserole!
Slow cooked beef and stout casserole
500g chuck steak, fat removed and diced into 2cm cubes
3 sticks celery
400g tin chopped tomatoes
3-4 dried bay leaves
1 Tbs plain flour
a few glugs of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 170ºC.
Chop all vegetables roughly (feel free to incorporate other vegetables into this dish - potatoes and peas would work beautifully).
Place casserole dish on stove top and heat up a few sloshes of oil.
Add vegetables and bay leaves and fry for 8 minutes.
Pour in wet ingredients (i.e. beer and tinned tomatoes) and season well.
Bring to the boil (check out that nice beery foam on top!).
Place lid on casserole dish and remove from stove top.
Cook in oven for 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, you can do all sorts of interesting things. I chose to spend the time playing with this little fella.
Remove from oven. In a moment of panic, fear that casserole is burnt, but then discover that the dark bits are simply really nicely caramelized (phew!).
Serve with your choice of carbs. Couscous was on the menu for us.
Enjoy a delicious, warming winter meal.