There are certain recipes on Gather and Graze that are posted primarily as a guide for my two teenage boys, who will one day leave the nest and find a need to not only cook for themselves, but perhaps for friends, or a loved one and even further down the track possibly children of their own. This is one of those recipes…
Many of you will have your own delicious version of this casserole/stew that you’ve been making for years and are extremely happy with. However, if that happens to not be the case, I hope this proves to be a useful recipe. It’s hearty and flavourful, though not too heavy (with the omission of potato and the addition of fresh fennel). It’s cooked slowly and extremely gently, to ensure the tenderest of meat. Lovely served with a crusty French baguette to mop up all the sauce/gravy!
The key to beautiful, tender meat (apart from buying the right cut) is really just to make sure that the casserole bubbles away very gently… if it simmers vigorously (or worse still, comes to a boil!), you’re much more likely to end up with chewy, little bricks of meat. A heartbreaking discovery to make, after a 3 hour cook!
Beef and Red Wine Casserole | Gather and Graze
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1kg (2lb 3oz) Stewing Beef (cut into 3cm cubes) – I use Chuck Steak
- 1 large Brown Onion (chopped)
- 2 Cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
- 20g (2 Tbsp) Plain Flour
- 300ml (1¼ Cups) Red Wine – I used an Australian Shiraz
- 300ml (1¼ Cups) Good Quality Beef Stock
- 100ml (7 Tbsp) Tomato Passata
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 medium Carrots (chopped)
- Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1 medium Leek (sliced)
- 1 medium Fennel Bulb (sliced)
- Handful Flat-Leaf Parsley (chopped)
- Fresh Bread (to serve… and mop up the sauce)
On the stove-top, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large casserole pot over medium-high heat. Brown the beef in 2 lots (so as not to crowd the pan), setting aside each batch to a bowl once browned.
Lower the heat to medium-low and add the extra tablespoon of oil to the pot. Sauté the onion with a pinch of salt for 8-10 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the chopped garlic and continue cooking for another minute or two.
Transfer the beef back into the pot, adding in the flour and stir for a minute or two to coat, taking care that the flour doesn’t overcook/burn on the base of the pot.
Now pour in the red wine and bring back up to a very slow simmer. Allow to bubble for a few minutes, before adding in the beef stock, tomato passata, bay leaves and chopped carrots. Season with salt and black pepper.
Place the lid on the casserole pot and allow to simmer very, very gently for 3 hours, adding in the sliced leek and fennel for the final hour of cooking.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow to rest for 15 minutes or so, before sprinkling with the flat-leaf parsley. Serve with some fresh, crusty bread to mop up the sauce and a glass of gutsy red wine.
This casserole is fabulous cooked the day before, chilled in the fridge overnight and then very gently re-heated for dinner. Perfect for those busy days when it’s nice to know that dinner is already sorted!