Saturday 20 September 2014

Perfect Slow Cooked Beef Casserole

While on holidays in a wonderful little fishing shack with a wood fire stove, the Dragon and I enjoyed making beautiful basics.  We made casseroles and damper and all things hearty.  I didn't have access to all that much, just what I could get at the little shop at the closest small town, but with very basic ingredients I enjoyed making what I consider to be a perfect beef casserole base.  The Worcestershire sauce makes all the difference.  I tried to take some pictures but the lighting was atrocious and made wonderful food look terrible.

I don't have access to a wood fire stove at home, but I've tweaked the base to be made in a slow cooker to fill your house with mouth-watering smells by evening and melt in your mouth deliciousness by night.  This slow cooked beef casserole is so beautiful and feels wonderful in the nose, mouth and belly.



Beef Casserole

Serves 6
  • 1kg beef, trimmed of most of the fat, diced into 2cm squares
  • 6 x shortcut bacon, diced.
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 stalks of celery, roughly diced
  • 2 large carrots, roughly diced
  • 1 onion, roughly diced
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 tbs Worchestershire Sauce
  • 2 x 400ml can of diced Italian tomatoes

Potential Spins

This meal is a perfect base which can be easily tweaked.  One obvious spin is to include potatoes in the casserole. I served in on garlic mashed potatoes instead.  Alternatively, this could be served on pasta, with crusty bread and/or with a side salad or side veggies. Of course you can add/subtract any veggies (eg red capsicum would be nice). I've gone for basic onion carrot and celery as a base.

To turn this into a paprika goulash you could add some Hungarian sweet paprika into the flour, and serve topped with sour cream.  Or for a smoky flavour, add some smoked paprika at this stage. In fact you could add just about any spice into the flour mix to create whatever flavour you like, or you can add a heap of pepper to add a bitey flavour.  This recipe makes a great base for a meat pie as well - I plan to make and post a traditional Aussie meat pie at some point.


  1. Place carrot and celery in your slow cooker.
  2. Shake beef in a bag with flour, salt and pepper.  If you plan to add additional spices, this is the time.
  3. Seal the beef, add to slow cooker
  4. In the same pan, brown onion and bacon.  I find that the bacon releases more flavour if it has been fried first.  
  5. Add garlic and tomato paste for 1 minute prior to finishing.  Add mix to slow cooker.  
  6. Pour beef stock into your pan, scrape up any extra bits left on the bottom of the pan to make sure that you don't lose any flavour.  Pour this into your slow cooker.
  7. Add red wine, canned tomatoes, stir through.
  8. Start your slow cooker on high for 30 minutes, then reduce to low heat for at least 3 hours.  If you have time, ideally leave this for longer until it is melt in your mouth cooked through.  Ideally start this at lunch time on a day when you are at home, and your house will fill with wonderful aromas all afternoon and evening and it will be perfection by dinner time.


My Take Aways

Hearty, melt in your mouth comfort eating at its best.  Slow cooked beef casseroles have stood the test of time for a reason.  They are very easy and always taste so good.  The flavours are even better the following night after they have infused over night.  I was glad to find that it tasted good even when not served on carbs ;)  Will make again. And again. And again.  You can serve this however you like.  On night one we served in on a bed of garlic mash.  
On night two and three we reheated it in small bowls and swerved the bowls on a plate with a side salad so that the juices didn't go into the salad.

Nutrition Breakdown

Per Serve
  • Calories453.5
  • Total Fat22.0 g
  • Saturated Fat8.2 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat0.1 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat0.0 g
  • Cholesterol0.0 mg
  • Sodium413.0 mg
  • Potassium459.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate10.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber2.8 g
  • Sugars3.7 g
  • Protein49.6 g

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