We like casseroles in our house. Nice, warm and comforting. Julian and Molly favour mashed potato (made with dairy free margarine and Oately) whereas I tend towards rice. Either is nice – all down to preference. Broccoli or green beans are good with this and quick to do if you just braise them in a bit of stock or water with a dash of soya sauce to give a bit of flavour. The thing about casseroles is that you've a bit of time and effort at the beginning browning the meat; after that they just burble away in the oven leaving you free to do other things until it's time to deal with the veg.
Free from: milk, soya, egg, gluten
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
1 kilo stewing steak chopped into bite sized pieces
3 tbs olive oil
250g stoned, ready to eat prunes
1 1/2 pint beef stock
1/3 cup red wine
3 tbs gluten free flour (Dove's Farm)
1/2 onion - chopped
250 g bacon lardons
50g dark chocolate
First off brown the meat. Get 1 tbs oil hot in the casserole dish and throw in a handful of the chopped up beef. It should sizzle when it hits the bottom of the casserole. The trick with browning meat is to not get impatient. Too much in the pan and its steamed, turn it over too quickly and it's not browned, but kinda grey. So leave it for a few minutes, then turn it over. Brown on all sides. Take out with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl on the side. Continue til all the meat is browned adding a bit more oil if you need to. When the last batch is nearly done browning throw in the flour and stir to cover the meat.
Quickly deglaze with the red wine and pour that over the meat.
Put in another tablespoon of oil and add in the bacon lardons. Cook these (stirring as you go) until crisp - a good 10 minutes. Take out with a slotted spoon and put with the beef.
Add the onion and cook until just starting to colour. Add in a few tablespoons of the stock and stir making sure the get the nice flavourful brown bits off the bottom of the casserole.
Now add the rest of the stock, meat, prunes and bacon to the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Now add in the chocolate - it will melt into the casserole and make it wonderful - rich and thick but not too sweet.
Pop into the oven for 2 hours until the meat is crazy tender and the sauce a glossy wonder.
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