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29 March 2009

Delicious Beef Casserole

When I was young mum used to make delicious beef casserole that I loved. Since I became obsessed with my spice collection, I have been wanting to create casserole that I would love just as much. So last night, I perused my herb and spice collection, decided what flavours I would use, and set about trying to re-create those delicious flavours from my childhood. I have no idea if this is similar to the ingredients Mum used, but it was wonderful anyway.

Slow cook recipes are fantastic, I made this one last night, ready for an easy Monday night meal after what I knew would be a long and stressful day. And all the ingredients I have used in this recipe are fairly standard, pantry items (except perhaps for the anchovies)...or perhaps they are just standard for me? Regardless, I really enjoyed this meal and it was quite easy to prepare, just brown the meat, add the other ingredients and then leave it on the stove for a few hours.

I have use rump steak because the supermarket did not have much of a range. You could also use any cheaper cut of beef.
Don't be scared of the garlic. It becomes incredibly sweet and soft after being cooked for so long and loses its pungency.


600g rump steak trimmed of fat and cut into 5cm pieces
1/4 cup plain flour
Freshly ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons olive oil (you may need a little extra if the pan becomes dry)
2 white onions roughly chopped
1 head garlic individual cloves peeled
45g tin anchovies
2 tablespoons worcheshire sauce
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 dried bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 cup water
2 teaspoons powdered chicken stock (I used chicken stock because that is what I had, you could use beef stock also)
1/4 cup fresh parsley roughly chopped
Zest of one lemon


Combine the beef, flour and pepper in a plastic bag and shake to combine. Heat a portion of the oil in a medium saucepan and brown the beef on each side. You'll need to brown the beef in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside. Add extra oil as needed.

Heat remaining oil and add onion, garlic and anchovies. I used kitchen scissors to chop the anchovies while still in the tin and added them straight from the tin, along with the oil they were preserved in. You'll notice the anchovies will melt into the oil.

Return the beef to the pan, along with the worcheshire sauce, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, bay leaves, oregano, basil, water and powdered stock. Add additional freshly ground pepper. Stir to combine.

Cook over the lowest heat possible on your stove top for 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring every so often. I found that the longer I cooked this, the more tender the beef became.

Combine parsley and lemon zest. Sprinkle on top of meat just before serving,

Serve with baked potato or rice, and vegetables. I boiled our veges in some water and a little dried basil (another tip from my Mum).

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