There are so many casserole recipes out there it can be hard to know what to choose if you fancy something warming this week. This recipe using beef, mushrooms and thyme is a classic combination that makes this classic slow cooker recipe a dinner staple.
- 2 to 4tbsp olive oil
- 1.5kg (3lb 6oz) stewing beef, such as chuck or braising steak, cut into chunks
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 large carrots, sliced diagonally
- 2 sticks celery, diced
- 3tbsp plain flour
- 2tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
- 3tbsp sweet sherry or port
- 400ml (14fl oz) good-quality beef stock
- 400ml (14fl oz) red wine
- 1tbsp tomato purée
- pinch grated nutmeg
- 250 to 300g (9 to 10oz) chestnut mushrooms, halved if large
Preheat the oven to 140 C, 120 C fan, 275 F, gas 1.
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a hob- and oven-proof casserole dish. Cook the meat in batches over a medium to high heat until it’s browned, then set aside.
Heat the remaining oil, if needed, in the casserole. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and celery. Cook for five minutes, then return the beef to the pan with the flour. Stir and cook for a few minutes. Add the herbs, anchovies, sherry, stock, wine, tomato purée, nutmeg and pepper. Bring to the boil, then cover and place in the oven for 3 hours 30 minutes.
Add the mushrooms to the casserole and return it to the oven for a further 30 minutes. This is delicious served with a bowl of creamy mash and green vegetables.