Beef Casserole

beef casserole

beef casserole

I had some leftover roast beef and decided to use it up by making a casserole. I do like buying larger than necessary joints of meat, because they cook more evenly than a small joint, you get to use the leftovers in sandwiches and often in a completely new meal too! Here, with the exception of mushrooms, I used ingredients that I had in the fridge and cupboard.

I cooked using a Spanish lidded cazuela made of terracotta, but a cast iron casserole would do the job just as well. I prefer the above to a glass casserole dish, because either can be used to brown the ingredients on top of the stove before cooking in the oven. A glass casserole will break if used on the stove.

Beef Casserole recipe (serves 4):

1 lb beef (cubed)
2 pieces of streaky bacon (chopped)
6 pieces of garlic (finely chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
2 sticks celery (chopped)
2 carrots (chopped)
6 mushrooms (chopped)
half a pint of beef stock
2 teaspoons of ground herbs (rosemary, sage and thyme – ground in a mortar and pestle with coarse sea salt and black peppercorns)
2 bay leaves
a dessertspoonful of plain flour
a splash of red wine vinegar
a dessertspoonful of tomato purée
a squeeze of anchovy paste
a good slug of olive oil

Fry the onion in plenty of olive oil, until it goes translucent, then add the bacon and brown it a little. Next stir in the celery, carrots and garlic. Cook these for a couple of minutes before adding the mushrooms. When the mushrooms have been coated in oil, the beef can go in and then sprinkle on flour and mix in with a wooden spoon – in essence this is making a roux, which will thicken the stock, meat and vegetable juices.

Slowly pour the stock into the casserole and keep stirring for a minute or two to blend everything together. Add all the remaining ingredients, put the lid on the dish and bring to a simmer. When the liquid is bubbling, put the casserole into a preheated oven at 120ºC. I like to check and taste things every 30 minutes or so, but when cooking slowly with a covered casserole in the oven, it’s fairly safe to leave it for a few hours and it won’t stick because the heat is coming from all round the dish.



I cooked this for 90 minutes in the oven and left it uncovered on top of the stove at the lowest heat for a further 30 minutes to thicken it slightly and to allow a little bit of sticky layer to form on top. This could be cooked just as well with raw stewing steak (or similar cut), but might need a longer cooking time to tenderise the meat. Similarly, this would work well in a slow cooker for 8 hours or so, with precooked meat or a tough cut best suited to long slow cooking times.

Serve with mashed potato and a robust red wine, such as Era Costana Crianza Rioja.

About Mad Dog
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23 Responses to Beef Casserole

  1. Mmm. there is nothing like a good bowl of beef stew to ward off the winter’s chill. This looks and sounds so good right now.

  2. Eha says:

    Lovely! As I make osso buco except for the tasty anchovy paste you know how to use it well !! But you talk of ‘leftover roast beef’ . . . I am a little lost: do you mean raw or cooked ’cause I cannot imagine myself cooking roasting beef twice and, in said case, ‘well done’! Don’t think either of us would eat it that way 🙂 !! Yes, love these kind of dishes in terracotta also: think of all the North African ones!!! Best . . .

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Eha – it was indeed cooked beforehand and very tender 🙂

      • Eha says:

        *laughter* Darling Mad – I guess I am a ‘short-order-cook’ in a way the term was not meant to be used’: please put up with the gal who would love to eat almost everything raw or barely cooked!!! Meat: always rare unless health dictates otherwise!

  3. There is nothing like a slow cooked casserole. Love the use of anchovy paste and the cazuela makes it so Spanish. Home cooking at its best. You certainly eat well! Yum.

  4. dayphoto says:

    YAY! You are back! And Feeling better I hope! Thank you for recipe…comes in perfect as I have a nice roast just waiting to be used as left-overs!

  5. andreamynard says:

    Looks delicious. Leftover meals are always my favourites.

  6. Karen says:

    I’m a firm believer in using anchovy paste in a dish like this…your casserole sounds perfect.

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    Great dish, MD, and I say this having just prepared beef stew for dinner last night. I’m going to pin this and hope to make it next time I need a beef-centric comfort meal.

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