HEALTHY BEEF CASSEROLE
The trick to getting a rich flavour is browning the meat properly. Serves 6 Olive oil cooking spray 1.35kg stewing beef or shin of beef, cut into 5cm chunks Apple cider, red wine or white wine vinegar (optional), to deglaze the pan 225g carrots, peeled and cut into 5cm chunks 225g celery, cut into 5cm chunks 4 sprigs fresh thyme 1 bay leaf 1 tsp fine sea salt Freshly ground black pepper 725ml dry cider or vegetable stock 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 x 400g tin of butter beans, drained and rinsed
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spoon of apple cider, red wine or white wine vinegar to the pan, boil it until it disappears, then add a splash of water and let it bubble up again. As the meat is browned, add it and the deglazed juices to a 3.5-litre casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Lightly spray the pan with oil again and allow it to come back up to a high heat before adding the next batch of beef and repeating the deglazing process.
Once all the beef is in the casserole, add the carrots and celery to the casserole along with the herbs, salt and pepper, then pour in the cider or stock and the Worcestershire sauce. Put the casserole on the hob and bring it up to a gentle simmer.
Cover the casserole with a sheet of foil, then a tight-fitting lid. Put the casserole on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 2 –3 hours, until the beef is completely tender.
Remove the casserole from the oven and raise the temperature to 200°C. Stir well, then add the butter beans.
Return the casserole to the oven and cook, uncovered, for a further 25–30 minutes, to reduce and thicken the juices. Ladle into warmed shallow bowls to serve.