Scotch Beef Casserole
1 kg Scotch Beef top rump or topside of beef cut into large pieces
3 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
70g chopped pancetta or smoked bacon
18 whole shallots, peeled
500g small whole carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
3 sticks celery, cut into 3cm lengths
6 small turnips scrubbed and halved
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1x 400g can chopped tomatoes
500ml beef stock
300ml ale or stout (optional)
small bundle herbs tied with string e.g. thyme, parsley and bay leaf
1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 C/150C fan/gas mark 3. Toss the beef pieces in seasoned flour and fry in the hot vegetable oil until well browned on both sides, remove with a slotted spoon to an oven-proof casserole.
2. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook till the fat runs, add the shallots and fry gently for 5-8 minutes until starting to brown, then add carrots, celery and turnips and continue cooking for a further 10 minutes, browning gently.
3. Add the garlic and tomatoes and stir together for 2-3 minutes and transfer all this to the casserole with the meat before pouring in the stock, ale (if using) and herbs. Bring to the boil then cover the pot and cook in the oven for about 1 1/2 hours until all is tender and the juices are rich and delicious. Remove the herbs and check the seasoning.
4. For the last half hour of the cooking time, cook the whole potatoes, starting in cold water, bring to the boil then cook for 20-30 minutes or until tender and beginning to split. Drain carefully so that they don’t completely fall apart, then serve two each with a generous ladleful of beef casserole, finished with a scattering of freshly chopped parsley.