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Mushroom and beef casserole in red wine

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Mushroom and beef casserole in red wine

This very traditional-style casserole has an excellent flavour and is ideal for a no-fuss dinner party. Dried mushroom such as morels give the casserole an even more intense flavour if you have them. I have used button mushrooms here, but field mushrooms would be just magic if you know of a paddock where you can pick them. Good wine and good beef stock are essential to good flavour in this dish.


  • 2 kilograms casserole beef
  • 8 rashers bacon
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups good red wine
  • 2½ cups good beef stock
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 16-18 pickling onions, or 4 medium onions
  • 20 button mushrooms


  1. Cut the beef into 3cm cubes (approximately). Trim and discard the bacon rind and cut the bacon into large pieces like the beef.
  2. Using a high temperature, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan or a heatproof casserole dish and add about a third of the meat. Brown well to add flavour and colour to the casserole (don't be afraid of the oil splattering). Transfer the well-browned meat to a plate and repeat the process with the remaining oil and beef.
  3. Add the bacon with the last lot of meat. Brown well.
  4. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until it darkens and becomes almost a deep-brown colour (do not allow to burn). This browning intensifies the flavour and should not be missed out.
  5. Stir in the flour carefully until it has all been absorbed, otherwise any remaining white specks of flour will turn to lumps in the sauce later on.
  6. Add all the red wine and stir until the sauce is thick. Add the beef stock gradually, carefully scraping all the flavoursome sediment off the bottom of the pan.
  7. Pour the beef and sauce into a casserole, peel and chop the garlic and add with the bouquet garni. Cover and simmer at 180ºC for about 1 hour.
  8. Meanwhile, peel the onions (chopping them into halves or quarters if you are not using pickling onions) and cube the mushrooms if they are big. Brown the mushrooms and onions slowly in a little butter. Add to the casserole and cook for another hour. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with a saffron risotto and fresh vegetables mixed with fresh chopped herbs.

Cooks Tips

- The best casseroles need good meat, but it doesn't have to be expensive. For this dish, gravy beef or cross-cut blade is best, because these meats have a good gelatinous content. Chuck steak is also good, but does not have the same texture when cooked. - A rough red just give the casserole a bitter flavour. If a wine's no good to drink, it's no good to cook with.

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