10 February 2016
Slow Cooked Beef with Shallots and Button Mushroom
Toss the cubes of beef in the flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan and brown the beef cubes, turning to brown all sides, for just a few minutes
don’t overcrowd the pan, it will need to be done in batches. Lift out the browned meat with a slotted spoon and place in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Peel and chop the carrots
try to use fairly thin ones, if not, cut them in half lengthways before chopping. Slice up the celery. Wash, trim and slice the leeks. Peel the shallots, cutting larger ones in half.
Turn down the heat and put the shallots into the same pan used for the meat, adding a little more oil if it’s too dry, stirring to scrape up all the crusty bits in the pan. Then add the carrots, celery and leeks, cooking gently and stirring for 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic, peeled and crushed.
Into the pan, add the tomato puree and stir. Then gradually add the hot stock, grape juice and vinegar, stirring well after each addition. When everything is well combined, tip it into the slow cooker with the meat. Season with salt and black pepper and add the bay leaves and thyme. Cook on high just to bring it to the boil, then turn down and cook slowly for two and a half hours.
Wipe the mushrooms then very quickly fry them in a knob of butter. Stir them into the casserole and cook for another 45-50 minutes.
Before serving, remove the thyme stalks and check the seasoning. If the gravy should need thickening, just stir in 2 teaspoons of cornflour mixed with a little cold water and cook for a further few minutes.
This easy beef casserole can be left to cook itself, leaving you free to do other things and come back to a delicious warming dinner ready in the pot! Perfect for Sunday lunch, accompanied by creamy mashed potato and green vegetables, or try it served with fluffy rice for a wonderful weekday dinner. Or, if you want a simple one pot meal, just add chunks of potato to the vegetables in the dish.
Slow cooked beef dishes often use wine to enhance the flavour; red grape juice and a splash of vinegar work well in this dish as an alternative.