Beef casserole stew
This classic recipe for a beef casserole stew can be done in a slow cooker which will transforms cheaper cuts of stewing steak into moist and tender forkfuls of flavour. Although not included here, you can optionally add dumplings to the beef casserole stew at the 3½ hour point when you also have the opportunity to thicken the gravy if you wish.
- 1lb 5 ounces / 600g mixed root vegetables (such as carrots, swede, parsnip, celeriac) chopped
- 1 potato (about 7 ounces / 200g) chopped
- 2 bay leaves, torn
- 1 tablespoon of dried parley or thyme
- 1lb 10 ounces / 750g stewing beef, trimmed of fat, cubed
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
- 1 tablespoon of dry mustard powder
- 2 tablespoons of oil, plus extra
- 1 stick of celery, sliced thinly
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 28 fluid ounces / 800ml beef stock
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce
- 4 tablespoons of cornflour
- freshly ground black pepper
- fresh parsley leaves, chopped, to serve
Put the cubed beef in a bowl and season it with salt and pepper.
Add the plain flour and mustard powder and toss the beef gently to make sure it is well coated.
Remove the coated beef from the bowl and shake off any excess flour back into the bowl. Keep the flour mixture for later.
Put the root vegetables, potato, bay leaves and dried herbs (the parsley or the thyme) in a slow cooker.
Fry the Beef
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, add the beef and fry for 5-8 minutes until it is browned on all sides. Work in batches if necessary and use extra oil if you need to. As each batch of the beef is browned, use a slotted spoon to transfer it to the slow cooker.
Once all the beef is in the slow cooker, sprinkle over the plain flour and mustard powder mixture saved from earlier.
Back to the frying pan, remove all but about a tablespoon of the oil.
Add the sliced celery and chopped onion and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Then add the chopped garlic and stir fry for a further 1-3 minutes until the onion is softened.
Add the stock and the Worcestershire Sauce and bring to the boil, making sure nothing catches on the bottom of the pan.
Then, add the contents of the drying pan to the slow cooker and season.
Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on the high setting for 3½ hours.
If you want a thicker stew, then put the cornflour in a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of cold water and stir until it becomes a smooth paste.
At the 3½ hour point, quickly stir in the cornflour paste.
If you are making dumplings, this is also the point when you can add them to the stew.
Re-cover the slow cooker with the lid as quickly as possible and cook on high for a further 60 minutes, or until the dumplings (if using) have risen to the surface.
Stop the slow cooker, discard the bay leaves, and add more salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle the beef casserole stew with fresh chopped parsley to serve.