Though spring may officially have arrived, the cold and damp of winter still lingers. To cheer you up, in anticipation of spring, proper’s, arrival today’s recipe is for a hearty and warming casserole dish.
Beef and Bean Casserole
25g (1 oz) butter
2 tbsp olive oil
350g (120z) shallots, peeled
900g (2 lbs) braising steak, cut into 3cm (1 in) cubes
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tsp mixed dried herbs
225ml (1 cup, scant) red wine
300ml (1 1/4 cups) beef stock
350g (12 oz) runner beans, tripped and cut diagonally into thick pieces
225g (8 oz) French (green) beans
450g (1 lb) large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and coarsely chopped
Combine the butter and oil in a large, lidded, flameproof casserole. When the mix is hot add the shallots and reduce the heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots are lightly browned all over (about 6 minutes).
Remove the shallots from the casserole with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the beef in batches, frying until lightly browned and then removing with a slotted spoon. Set the beef aside as you fry the next batch.
When all the meat has been fried, return to the casserole then scatter over the plain flour and the dried herbs. Pour over the wine and stock and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring all the while.
Take the casserole off the heat and stir in the shallots (along with any of their juices). Now add the runner beans, French beans and tomatoes (along with any juice). Mix well to combine then place the casserole back on the heat and bring to a boil.
Cover with a sheet of greaseproof (waxed) paper and the lid, then transfer to an oven pre-heated to 180ºC (350ºF) and cook for about 200 minutes, or until the meat is tender and the vegetables are cooked through.
Remove the lid and the paper covering from the casserole. Serve immediately accompanied by crusty bread and/or mashed potatoes.