You’ll have noticed that this seems a little out of character for me. “Beef Casserole? Not something that James has cooked for me before. And how does this qualify as spicy?…” you’ll be saying. Well, I was inspired by Marcus Wareing yesterday on Saturday Kitchen. He was cooking his Mum’s hotpot, which initially seemed rather odd for a chef with 2 Michelin stars, but the comments that came back were unequivocally excellent, so I was quite intrigued. As for the spicy bit, well I cover this off with the use of HP Sauce (Brown Sauce) – that bastion of culinary Britain, made great by Harold Wilson (PM) in the 1960’s. The HP and Worcester sauces add a wonderful fruity spiciness, which is nicely offset by the sweetness of the parsnips
I’ve never been a big fan of Beef Casserole, mainly because I’ve never been able to cook one that’s as goos as my Mothers. However, this time I think I might have cracked it. There’s no reason why you need use Rump Steak – I just happened across a great deal at the butchers. Ensure that it is cut into large chunks and well browned in the pan. This would also work well with Lamb. Marcus’s Mum’s recipe was topped in pastry (as much as I love pastry, this is generally something in which I don’t have the time or patience for) but hopefully my personalization is still fairly true to the original. Thanks v much, Marcus’s Mum!
I used vegetable stock in this recipe and it worked very well, but any good quality stock could be used.
I served this with freshly picked spinach and rocket, wilted in a little butter, and the rest of the bottle of red wine. As ever, only use a wine that you’d be prepared to drink. My recommendation for this – try the McPherson Family Series Oak Aged Cabernet Sauvignon. Superb!!!
Cooking Time – approx 2 1/2 hrs
- Plain Flour (3-4 tbsp), seasoned with Salt & Pepper
- 500g Rump Steak
- 2 Onions, chopped
- 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
- 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 250g Mushrooms, thickly sliced
- 250ml Red Wine
- 4 tbsp HP Sauce
- 2 shakes Worcester Sauce
- 500ml Vegetable Stock
- fresh Thyme
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 500g New Potatoes (small, salad type)
- 400g Parsnips
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Put the seasoned flour into a plastic bag.
- Cut the beef into large cubes and add to the bag. Shake well to coat in flour.
- In a 5 ltr Casserole, add approximately half the oil and heat through. Add the onions and garlic and sweat until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add a little more oil if necessary and sweat off the mushrooms. When soft, set aside with the onions.
- Add the remaining oil and heat through. Throw in half of the meat and seal well on all sides. Ensure that sides are brown before removing from the pan. Repeat with the remaining meat and set aside.
- Their will be flour and meat residue stuck on the base of the pan. Add the wine and stir well for a few minutes to lift this off. Add Sauces, Herbs and stock and bring to the boil.
- Return onions and meat to the pan, season with a little salt & pepper to taste and bring to the boil before covering and putting the casserole into the oven, pre-heated to 160oC. Cook for 1 hour.
- Trim potatoes, halving as necessary so they are of a similar size. Cut parsnips into good sized chunks, removing the cores if woody.
- After 1 hr, remove the casserole and stir well. Add the potatoes and parsnips, stir again and return to the over for another hour.
- Serve with a fresh green vegetable and a nice chunk of bread.