This is a memory from my childhood.
In winter I’d come home after a damp cold day at school, run to the shower to heat up, then find myself in our kitchen where the windows were all steamy from Mama’s casserole in the oven. The house smelled like it should after an afternoon of cooking; slow cooked beef, rich tomato ragu, and rosemary and thyme.
At this time, Mum was all about using organic produce to help counter an illness someone in my family was suffering from. We had been told to eat as many vegetables as possible (which meant we sometimes added parsnips to this concoction) and to eat as close to the real thing as we could come. This meal is a real food one-pot wonder. Bare in mind that these days it is difficult to source sugar-free cans of tomato, but it is not impossible.
We served this up with pumpkin mash and steamed green beans, but you could have it with absolutely anything: roasted sweet potato, sautéed spinach, cauliflower rice, on top of zoodles, or even with a salad.
Slow cooked food is a great way to feed a family as you can use cheaper cuts of meat. I spent a total of $8 for the beef. That’s less than $2 per serving of meat.
Mama’s Classic Beef Casserole
- 650g beef rump, cut in 3cm chunks
- 2 onions, diced
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 5 sprigs thyme, roughly chopped
- 3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
- 3 carrots, cut in 1cm rounds
- 4 celery storks, cut in 1cm pieces
- 2 cans diced tomatoes, sugar-free
- ½ cup water
- 1 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
- Dry beef pieces off with a paper towel.
- On the stove, heat olive oil or butter in a casserole pot on medium-high heat.In batches, brown the beef chunks on all sides. Once all browned remove from the casserole and set aside.
- In the casserole pot melt ½ tablespoon butter and add onions, garlic, thyme, rosemary, carrots, and celery. Cover and sweat for 10 minutes. Stir half way through to make sure the vegetables are not burning.
- Return the beef and its juices to the pot, followed by the remaining the ingredients.
- Cover and bring to the boil then place in the reheated oven.
- Cook covered for 4 – 5 hours in the oven.I check every 1 – 2 hours to make sure there is still enough liquid in the casserole. If it looks dry at any point add a little bit of water, mix, cover, and place back in the oven.
- You know it is ready when the meat breaks up easily and the sauce is thick.
“Feed, Nourish, Value Yourself.”