Recipe: Slow cooked beef casserole

Welcome back to Tuesday's recipe series, where each week I share a new recipe which you can download for free. When there is a collection on the blog, I will be showing you how to use them to create weekly, fortnightly and monthly meal plans. Today's recipe is a delicious slow-cooked beef casserole.

Do you own a slow cooker? We got ours a few years ago, and it is a well-used piece of equipment in our house over the winter months (although it really does take up a lot of room in the kitchen cupboards!). What I love about it is that there is very little prep with a slow-cooked meal - you seal the meat and pop it in the pot, then quickly cook the veg to soften it, throw it in with the meat and some flavouring and you are good to go. With most slow-cooked meals, I just grab whatever veg I have on hand and throw it in - zucchini, carrot, potato, sweet potato, red capsicum, mushrooms. Anything tastes good when it has been cooking away for 6 hours!

If you're super organised, you could have all your veg pre-prepared from your shopping trip, or prepare everything the night before to make for a very easy meal to put together in the morning. Your dinner can be cooking away all day while you're at work or busy with the kids, and you don't need to think about it until that little timer goes off. Perfect! You could also do this meal on the stove-top. 

With a hearty meal like this, you may choose to have it as is, or serve it with a side. We like our carbs in this house, so it'll be either risoni, rice, mashed potato (in which case, I don't add potato to the dish), or some delicious crusty bread to mop up the juices. The one pictured was made by my husband and kids when I was out for the day - it filled the house with the yummiest smell. Do let me know if you try this meal out!

Slow-cooked beef casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 600g chuck steak, diced
  • 2 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon 
  • Salt & pepper 

Method

  • Roughly chop all the veg (or put in a food processor for quicker prep)
  • Lightly flour and season the meat 
  • Heat half the oil in a pan and add the meat (in batches if necessary) to seal, then put into the slow cooker pot
  • Once the meat is done, pour the rest of the oil into the pan and add onion, carrot, bacon and celery for 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are softened
  • Add these and all other ingredients to the slow cooker
  • Cook the stew for 6 hours on low or 4 hours on high
  • Season to taste and serve as is, or choose a side - rice, risoni, crusty bread or mashed potato (omit the potato from the main recipe if you choose this option) (Serves 4)

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