I absolutely accept that August is not the month to be doling out beef casserole, but, I've got nothing in the freezer by way of quick meals and today, with both little ones gainfully occupied, 'O' with crayons and a vast amount of paper, and 'H' being his beautifully normal routined self, I've embarked on re-stocking.  Normally with a pack of stewing beef I love to make Jamie's America (Jamie Oliver) Chilli-con-Jamie, which is just amazing if you've not tried it, packed with flavour and really robust, goes a long way too, which helps!  Anyway, with my littlest, 'H', having a tendency to rub his eyes whilst eating, I'm thinking that perhaps a chilli isn't the best way to go for a few months, and although I do love other Jamie casseroles, I thought I'd try an adaptation from Tamasin's Kitchen Bible.  I'm frugal, so my key change is to up the veg quantity so I can make more meals with the same amount of meat, and of course sneak those important veg's into my babies bellies!
Takes 11/2 hours, plus prep time, I've split mine between two tupperwares, so it will serve 4 adults and 4 toddler/babies.

1tbs olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
2 large carrots, cut into fingers
1 celery stick, chopped finely
3 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
1tbs plain flour
1tbs tomato purée
500g beef, stewing steak, cut into bite-size pieces
1 can Guinness (440ml)
2 bay leaves
1tbs mixed fresh herbs, I used parsley, thyme and rosemary
1 strip orange peel
salt and pepper
2 large handfuls of frozen peas

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic, fry till the onions are a little soft and get some colour.
  • Add the plain flour, continue to fry for a minute then add the tomato purée and the beef.
  • Slowly pour in the Guinness, add the bay leaves, herbs, orange peel and salt and pepper.
  • Bring to the boil then add the peas and transfer to an oven proof dish, cover and cook for 11/2 hours, or till the beef is all tender and falls apart.

I then transferred mine into two tupperwares to be popped into the freezer when cool, I hate having no frozen meals ready for those days when I really can't be bothered to cook any thing! 

I'd serve this casserole with mashed potato and probably some more veg, I quite fancy the idea of spinach with it.

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