Friday, 16 November 2012

Friday Recipe - Hearty Beef Casserole

I love cooking, I actually wanted to be a chef in my teens, working my way up from ‘pot-wash’ to commis chef.. well I say commis chef I basically prepared salads and stuck a load of stuff in fryers in the local restaurant. I realised how hard chefs work, they basically live in the kitchen, you have to admire their dedication, commitment and for most of them, their drive to succeed and be the best they can be. However, if you look at their stress levels, they’re through the roof! Meaning that the body’s stress hormone cortisol will be sky high, not great for your overall health!

Every Friday I’m going to share with you some recipes that are quick, easy and most importantly packed with nutritionally dense foods. I’m definitely not Jamie Oliver, but if I can help give you a bit of inspiration in the kitchen department then that’s a good thing right??

Firstly, I believe that this cooking utensil should be in everyone’s kitchen: 

It’s a lazy man’s/woman's dream machine. Chuck it all in and leave it for a few hours. You can pick one up for around £20-30 quid. It’s easy to clean too..

With these winter nights drawing in, it’s cold dark and depressing outside. Warm yourself by trying this little recipe below:

Hearty Beef Cassarole ala chef Cheese :

Serves 3-4

500g Organic Beef Braising Steak – Will be hormone free and grass-fed by being organic and packed full of protein.
2 Cloves of garlic – finely chopped – A great anti-inflammatory
1 Organic Beef stock cube and 300ml of boiling water.
2tbsp of tomato puree
Veg (all preferably organic, if not just the clean 15, see earlier post) – This is personal preference but aim for root veg though such as:
3 or 4 Carrots peeled and diced – high in beta-carotene which helps to prevent cataracts.
1 Sweet potato peeled and diced – high in fibre and vitamin B6
1 Butternut squash halved and de-seeded – Packed full of Vitamin A, a powerful anti-oxidant
2 Leeks diced – High in folate, which supports our cardiovascular sytem
1 Onion diced – Packed full of Vitamin C
A handful of Mushrooms diced – Rich in Calcium
A glass of Red wine – plenty of anti-oxidants, just don’t add the whole bottle!
A  couple sprigs of Thyme – A rich source of potassium which helps to regulate blood pressure
2tsp of Cornflour (to thicken the sauce).


Sear the beef in a frying pan for 2 mins. Add the garlic and onion after 1 min. Once all the meat has browned on the outside, remove from the heat and place in the slow cooker.

Add the diced veg, beef stock, red wine, tomato puree and stir, season generously with sea salt and black pepper.

Add the Thyme to the top of the cassarole and put the lid on. Set the slow cooker to setting ‘slow’ and leave it for 4-6hrs or even longer if you want your meat really tender, I usually can’t wait that long!

About 30mins before serving add the cornflour and stir. This will help to make the broth a little thicker.

Once the broth has thickened, serve with a big ladel into a bowl and enjoy!


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