Thursday, January 31, 2013

What's for Dinner? Beef & Beer Casserole

I love cooking so much. It’s one of my very favourite activities. I love amazing-smelling food, and I adore feeding my loved ones – even moreso when they enjoy it! Unfortunately, I don’t get to do it properly as much as I’d like because my fatigue knocks me down halfway through. So I rely on low-effort, high-reward recipes a lot of the time.

I love this recipe. It’s rich, it’s full of goodies and the beef just falls apart. I used to do it in a casserole dish in my over, per the original recipe, but I love my slow-cookers like a recently separated appendage. We have two, because I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of either when B and I moved in together, so if motivation strikes me I can get 2-3 meals done at once.

And yes, I realise it’s early in the year for casseroles, but I was wanting some comfort food!!
The original recipe can be found here, but mine is tweaked as such:
Gravy or Casserole Beef (the recipe says 750g, but I tend to use closer to 1kg)
Any casserole-ish vegetables you can get your hands on, chopped appropriately
(for me, this is generally leek, carrot, cauliflower, zucchini, corn, mushrooms, celery)
2 crushed garlic cloves (or 2tsp minced)
2tbsp plain flour
2 dried bay leaves
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (or a sprinkle of the dry stuff)
375ml lager beer  (I’ve found James Boag’s Classic really good)
1 ½ Cups beef stock
Note: The original recipe calls for bacon, but I don’t use this as it makes it too rich for my kids, and potatoes, but I serve it on mash so I don’t put spuds in it.

To put it together, first brown off all the beef in a frying pan in batches and let the batches drain on some paper towel. I’ve found if you dry the beef off a bit after cooking, it actually cooks a lot better, and goes tender and fally-aparty. Yes, I know that’s not a thing, but it makes sense to me.
Once your beef is brown and dry and smelling awesome, dump everything in your slow cooker. I tend to put stock powder and boiling water straight in to facilitate my own laziness, but each to their own.
Give everything a quick stir. If you’re in a hurry, give it an hour on high before dropping it down to low. Otherwise, leave it go on low all day until the sauce is thick and the beef is tender. 

This dish is such a favourite in my house, as soon as O sees me bring out the beer she turns into an excited puppy. As I mentioned, it’s best served with mash. I make mine really creamy with lots of butter, and the whole family flips for this dish.


  1. This looks like a great recipe. I am a big fan of a casserole/stew-type arrangement! My slow cooker died but I could cook this in my oven, I've got one of those fancy pants Le Creuset casserole dish thingoes. PS I love bacon! I would add that I reckon. Nice to meet you Tara x

  2. Yum! I made a great beef and Guinness stew once that has become a family favorite, so now I am a big fan of beef and beer stews :) Thanks for sharing!

  3. Yum! I love cooking! And this recipe looks amazing!