One-Dish Beef Casserole

One-dish Beef Casserole

This easy beef casserole is made from chunks of steak, braised slowly with carrots, onions and potatoes in a tomato-based beef stock. Once prepared and in the oven there is nothing more to do!

One-Dish Beef Casserole

4 servings
  • Preparation time: about 35 minutes
  • Cooking time: 2 hours 45 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 700 g (1½ lb) stewing steak
  • 28 g (1 oz) flour (3 tbsp)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 450 g (1 lb) carrots, sliced (6 medium)
  • 700 g (1½ lb) potatoes, peeled and sliced (4½ medium)
  • ground nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 x 400g tin whole tomatoes (½ x 28 fl oz can)
  • good beef stock
  • 225 g (8 oz) peas (optional) (1½ cups)

Equipment

  • You will also need a lidded casserole dish and a frying pan/skillet for this recipe.


  • Method
  • Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) (gas 3)

  • Place the flour in a medium-sized plastic food storage bag and add salt and pepper. Shake the bag to mix. Cut the steak into 2.5cm (1 inch) cubes and add to the bag. Shake again so the flour coats the steak. Remove the steak from the bag but reserve any remaining flour.

  • Heat the oil in the pan/skillet over a medium heat and, when just beginning to smoke, add the steak. Toss the steak so it will sear on all sides. This will need to be done in a few batches as you don’t want to overcrowd the pan or the cubes of steak will steam rather than sear. Put to one side.

  • Now reduce the heat in the pan/skillet and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. When it is hot add the onions and carrots and gently cook for 5 minutes.

  • Now layer steak, onions, carrots, and potatoes in the casserole dish, sprinkling each layer with a pinch of nutmeg and some seasoning as you go.
  • Sprinkle the remaining flour from the bag over the meat and vegetables and then add the tomatoes.

  • Finally pour over enough hotstock to come just over halfway up the ingredients.

  • Cover and cook for 2½ hours.

  • Peas can be added 15 minutes before the end of cooking.
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Updated: March 9, 2020

Cheat’s Crêpes Suzette

Cheat's Crêpes Suzette

I call these Cheat’s Crêpes Suzette because they aren’t flambéed just before serving. The crêpes with orange segments in orange sauce flavoured with Cointreau still make them sublime. (To flambé them, just follow the last steps of the method.)

Cheat's Crêpes Suzette

4 –6 servings
  • Preparation time: About 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 20 minutes
  • Cooking time: About 25 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • For the crêpes
  • 115 g (4 oz) plain/all-purpose flour (1 cup less 1½ tbsp)
  • pinch salt
  • 2 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.)
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) semi-skimmed/partly skimmed milk (1 cup) mixed with 60ml (2 fl oz) water (¼ cup)
  • 55 g (2 oz) butter (¼ cup, or ½ stick)
  • For the orange sauce
  • 55 g (2 oz) icing/powdered sugar (½ cup)
  • 3 small oranges
  • 85 g (3 oz) butter (3 tbsp, or ³⁄₈ stick)
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier or Cointreau

Equipment

  • You will also need a 25cm (10 inch) heavy gauge aluminium frying pan/skillet.


  • Method
  • Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.

  • Make a well in the centre of the flour and break in the eggs. Using an electric whisk or a balloon whisk, whisk the eggs into the flour, gradually adding the milk and incorporating the flour from around the edge of the bowl. Scrape any remaining flour down from the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and whisk again until all the mixture is smooth. It should be the consistency of thin cream. Set aside for 20 minutes.

  • Meanwhile prepare the sauce. Squeeze the juice from one orange into a small pan and add the icing/powdered sugar. Stir to dissolve and then add the butter. Gently heat to melt the butter and then simmer for 2 minutes. The mixture will thicken slightly. Set the pan to one side.

  • Zest the two remaining oranges and put the zest to one side.

  • Now remove all the pith from the 2 oranges, separate into their segments and remove any pips. Cut each segment into three.

  • Preheat oven to 130°C (250°F) (gas ½) and place five plates in the oven to warm.

  • Meanwhile melt the butter. Spoon 2 tablespoons into the batter and whisk it in. The remainder will be used to smear the pan (skillet) between cooking each pancake using a wodge of kitchen paper.

  • To prepare for cooking the crêpes:

  • Get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to a medium setting.

  • Use about 2 tablespoons of batter for each crêpe. It is easier to measure this into a ladle or measuring cup first and use this to tip the batter into the pan/skillet in one go. Using the ladle or cup, hold it so that the base is very close to the bottom of the pan/skillet in the centre and then pour it in. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan/skillet, lift the pan/skillet and tip it round from side to side to get the base evenly coated with the batter. If there are any holes, just fill them in with extra batter using a teaspoon. It will take less than a minute to cook. Lift the edge with a palette knife to check the underside is golden.

  • Now flip the crêpe over. The other side will need less time to cook. Then slide it out of the pan onto a warmed plate.

  • Continue until there are 12 crêpes. Overlap them on the warmed plate as you go, keeping them warm in the oven, covered loosely with foil.

  • Pour the sauce into the pan/skillet and warm through. Add the zest and 1 tablespoon of the liqueur.

  • Then fold the crêpes into quarters, placing a few orange segments in each one. Add the crêpes to the pan along with any remaining orange segments.

  • Cook for 2 minutes to heat the crêpes through.

Note

  • If you want to flambé the crêpes just follow the steps below.

To flambé the crêpes

  • This is done just before serving the crêpes. First mix together 3 tablespoons of Grand Marnier and 3 tablespoons of brandy. Then pour them into the pan and set the sauce alight. This has to be done very quickly or the alcohol will evaporate and won’t light. Carefully swirl the pan around so that the sauce flames evenly. Serve when the flames have extinguished. Be very careful when doing this.
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Updated: March 9, 2020

Swiss Trifle

Swiss Trifle

This Swiss Trifle is a lovely light dessert for winter using frozen raspberries. Slices of jam-filled Swiss roll, laced with sherry and covered with raspberries, are topped with a creamy custard and whipped cream, then sprinkled with roasted almonds.

Swiss Trifle

8 servings
  • Preparation time: 30 minutes
  • Standing time: 10 minutes
  • Refrigeration time: at least 2 hours 20 minutes

  • Ingredients
  • 200 g (7 oz) jam-filled Swiss roll/jelly roll
  • 3 tbsp sherry
  • 340 g (12 oz) frozen raspberries (1½ cups)
  • 2 tbsp raspberry jam
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 240 ml (8 fl oz) whole milk (1 cup)
  • 600 ml (20 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (2½ cups)
  • 3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
  • 85 g (3 oz) caster sugar/superfine sugar (⅓ cup plus 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
  • 4 tbsp icing sugar/powdered sugar, sifted
  • 15 g (½ oz) flaked/sliced almonds (1½ tbsp)

Equipment

  • You will also need a 2 litre (3½ pint) flat-bottomed glass serving dish (8 cup capacity)


  • Method
  • Cut the Swiss roll into 2cm (¾ inch) slices and arrange in the base and slightly up the sides of the glass dish. Drizzle over the sherry.

  • Put the raspberries and jam in a small pan over a moderate-low heat for 2–3 minutes until the fruit is beginning to soften and the mixture is saucy. Leave for about 5 minutes to cool a little. Then pour the raspberry mixture in an even layer over the sponge.

  • To make the custard. Pour the milk and 240ml (8 fl oz) (1 cup) of the cream into a small pan. Stir in the vanilla extract and heat until bubbling round the edges. Then remove from the heat and leave for 2 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, caster/superfine sugar and cornflour/cornstarch until smooth. Then gradually whisk in the hot milk and cream.

  • Return the custard to the pan, bring to the boil, and then simmer for 2–3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the custard has thickened. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes.

  • Pour the custard in an even layer over the raspberries, then chill for 20 minutes, until the custard is just beginning to set.

  • Pour the remaining cream and sifted icing/confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl and lightly whip until it holds soft peaks. Spoon the cream over the custard. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

  • To toast the almonds. Heat a wide bottomed pan. When it is hot, turn the heat down to low and toss in the almonds. Keep moving them around until they just start to turn golden and begin to smell. Watch them all the time as they can burn very quickly. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

  • Just before serving the trifle sprinkle the flaked/sliced almonds over the top.

Note

  • If you want to make less than 8 servings just use individual glass dishes. Alter the quantity of the ingredients accordingly but follow the same method. When cutting the Swiss roll make the slices as thin as possible. You may not need all the Swiss roll to line the individual glass dishes.
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Updated March 9, 2020