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HEARTY WINTER CASSEROLES

mongolian beef casserole

 

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Hearty Winter Casseroles

Casseroles are a great family meal and with beef you can use cheaper cuts of meat, making them also economical. In fact, stewing type meat is perfect for long slow cooking, during which time the meat should become very tender and full of flavour. Your camp oven is perfect for making casseroles. Just throw the meat into your preheated camp to brown, then add whatever else is needed, cover and let the dish simmer ever so gently over your fire or on your gas stove top. The slower and longer you can cook it, the better and more flavoursome it will be.

Hints:
• Use the cheaper cuts of meat for stews such: Chuck / Topside / Shins / Shanks / Blade Brisket / Round/ Gravy Beef

that are meant for long, slow cooking. The meat will not fall apart during cooking, and will also impart much more flavour to the dish.

IMPORTANT: When browning your meat, don’t overcrowd the pan or the meat will ‘stew’ before it has had time to brown and you’ll lose a lot of the juices you are trying to seal in. Brown the meat in batches.

• If cooking on your gas stove, then consider using a heat diffuser mat, such as the ‘SimmerMat Heat Diffuser’. These are inexpensive and act as a buffer between the flame and the pot, and help control the temperature of your cooking surface to ensure long slow cooking and help to prevent the bottom of the pan burning. They are available at most kitchenware stores.

 

mongolian beef casseroleMongolian Beef Casserole

Ingredients:
750gm – 1 kg chuck or bladebone (or similar) - trimmed of most of the fat and cut into cubes
2 tblspns oil
1 onion - chopped
1 clove garlic – crushed (or use 1 tspn minced garlic)
½ cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 tblspns Oyster sauce
1 tspn chilli paste
1 tblspn sweet chilli sauce
1 tblspn white wine vinegar
1 tspn sugar (or to taste)
1 tspn cornflour
1 tblspn water
salt & pepper (to taste)

Method:
Heat the oil in a large pan or camp oven and sauté the onions and garlic until softened.
Add the meat in batches and brown.
In a separate bowl, mix the sauces, vinegar and sugar together.
In another small bowl, mix the cornflour and water and then add to the sauce mix and combine.
Add the sauce mixture to meat and stir over heat until the sauce boils and thickens.
Add pepper to taste and season with salt.
Cover, and simmer gently until the meat is tender (1 ½ to 2 hours approx – depends on the type of meat used).
Serve with either rice or potatoes and vegetables of your choice.

 

Spicy Citrus Beef Casserole
Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
800gm to 1 kg casserole beef - cute into bite size cubes (amount of meat depending on how many you are feeding)
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup or more of oil
2 to 4 medium onions - peeled & finely chopped
2 tspns chili paste or minced chilli
2 tspns cumin powder
1 tspn turmeric powder
1 tspn coriander powder
2 to 3 tblspns paprika powder
3 good tblspns tomato paste
2 x med tins crushed tomatoes, or 1 x large tin
2 cups approx water
1 lemon - zest
2 large oranges - zest and juice
1 x med tin chickpeas - well drained
2 to 3 tspns sugar (to taste)
salt and pepper

Method:
Place the flour into a plastic bag and add the meat. Seure and give the bag a good shake to evenly coat the meat with the flour.
Add oil to large pot or frying pan and heat.
Add meat in batches and brown on all sides.
Remove from the pan and spoon onto some absorbent paper. Set aside.
Add a little more oil if need be to the pan and add the onions and saute until softened.
Add the chilli, cumin, turmeric, coriander and paprika to the onions and stir over a medium heat for a few minutes until they release their flavours.
Add tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes or so.
Return the browned meat to the pan and give it a good stir to make sure all the beef is coated in the spices.
Add the tinned tomatoes and water and mix through.
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gently simmer.
Add both the lemon and orange zest and the juice, stir through.
Cover and simmer gently for 2 hours or until the meat is tender.
Add the chickpeas and season with the salt & pepper to taste, along with the sugar to taste.
Cover and continue to simmer for a further 20 mins.
Serve on a bed of mashed potato or coucous.

 

beef tagine with sweet potatoesBeef Tagine with Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4 to 6

This north African dish has plenty of flavour and while traditionally cooked in a Tagine, it works just as well in a camp oven or casserole dish, but make sure the lid is tight-fitting to mirror as closely as possible the effect of cooking in the traditional pot that gave its name to this type of stew.

Ingredients:
750gm to 1kg braising or stewing beef
2 tblspns oil
good pinch of ground turmeric
1 large onion - peeled & chopped
1 fresh red or green chilli - seeded and finely chopped (or use some chilli paste or mined chilli, or a little *harissa)
1 1/2 tspns paprika powder
good pinch of cayenne pepper powder
1/2 tspn ground cumin
salt and pepper
water
1 x med/large (approx 450gm) sweet potatoe
1 tblspn chopped fresh parsley
1 tblspn chopped fresh coriander
1 tblspn butter

Method:
Preheat the oven to 180°C, or your camp oven.
Trim the meat and cut into 2cm (3/4”) cubes.
Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole or your camp oven and fry the meat, together with the turmeric, over a medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until the meat is evenly browned, stirring frequently.
Cover the pan tightly and cook for 15 minutes over a fairly gentle heat, without lifting the lid.
Add the onion, chilli, paprika, cayenne pepper and cumin to the pan. Mix and season to taste.
Add just enough water to cover the meat.
Cover tightly and cook in the oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the meat is very tender, checking occasionally and adding a little extra water, if necessary, to keep the stew fairly moist.
Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and slice then straight into a bowl of salted water to avoid discolouring.
Transfer to a pan, bring to the boil, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain.
Stir the chopped herbs into the meat, adding a little extra water if the stew appears dry.
Arrange the potato slices over the meat and dot with the butter.
Cover and cook in the oven for a further 10 minutes, or until the potatoes feel very tender.
Increase the oven temperature to 200°C or preheat the grill to its hottest setting.
Remove the lid of the casserole and cook in the oven or under the grill for a further 5 to 10 minutes, until the potatoes are golden.
Serve at once.

Viv’s hint: You could replaced the sweet potato with normal white potato, but the sweet potato does goes really well with the meat. You could also replace the fresh parsley and coriander with dried herbs.
*Harissa is a a hot sauce or paste used in North African cuisine and is made from chili peppers, paprika, and olive oil.


 

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