Monday, December 03, 2007

A hopeful menu of beef and horseradish casserole

It is not often that I get serious. But an email last week from Jeanne of Cooksister! fame got me thinking. She asked if I would participate in an annual event involving food bloggers from around the globe raising money for the UN World Food programme. Menu for Hope is organised by Pim at Chez Pim though Jeanne is one of the UK hosts. This seems entirely fitting at a time of year when we are busy gorging ourselves on all manner of festive indulgences. We should spare a thought or two for those far less fortunate. This year's campaign focuses on a school feeding programme in the mountain kingdom of Lesotho. The best news about this campaign though is that you get to win some fabulous foodie prizes (it is Christmas after all!). For more details take a look at Jeanne's post as she is organising the UK part of the event and has all the details. You can help by donating prizes and by buying raffle tickets for the wonderful array of experiences and goodies from December 10th. Last year the campaign raised over $60000. Let's do even better this year!

I have donated an exciting prize that I hope will excite all those wine lovers out there. More details on December 1oth so do check back.

In the meantime, I thought I'd share my all time favourite beef casserole recipe with you. The photos are appalling, I'm afraid. Winter is doing my food photography no favours whatsoever. I urge you to try this recipe despite its failure to perform for the camera - the sweet heat of horseradish lifts this dish a notch above the standard beef casserole. My sister adores this and requests it on regular occasions. I have been known to arrive at her house to find the ingredients laid out on the counter in hope that I'm in the mood for casserole-making!

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 1/4 beef steak suitable for stewing


2 medium onions, skinned and finely sliced, or 1 sliced onion and a handful of shallots, halved

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 oz button mushrooms

1 tbsp plain flour

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp medium curry powder

1/2 tsp dark muscovado sugar

1/2 pint beef stock

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

bay leaf

bouquet garni

salt and pepper

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2 heaped tbsp creamed horseradish sauce

1. Trim meat of any excess fat and cut into 1 inch cubes. Sprinkle with flour, ginger, curry powder and sugar - toss the meat in the seasoned flour. Brown in batches in a little oil on a fairly high heat - ensure nicely caremelised.

2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in an ovenproof casserole. Sweat the onions (and shallots, if using). Add meat to pan with garlic and mushrooms and heat until mushroms start to soften.

3. Add stock and Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf and bouquet garni. Stir. Cook in oven at 170C for around 1 hour,or until meat is tender.

4. Remove from oven and stir in horseradish (add more to taste as needed). Finish with parsley and season to taste.

Notes - I like to cook this for longer at a slightly lower heat, if I have time. The meat becomes meltingly tender. I served this with jacket potatoes and carrots which I roasted in a little honey and cumin.


Rosie said...

Hi Antonia, I have to say your beef casserole looks mighty inviting. I'm salivating thinking of eating this with some good old-fashioned dumplings YUM!!!

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

Apart from your addition of mushrooms, this recipe is the same as Beef in Horseradish Cream form The Aga Cookbook!

Antonia said...

How intersting - it came to me via a tutor at a cooking course that I did. I have only every cooked on a Aga once - not a sucess for me as I completely forgot that I had put scones in the oven and burnt them. Should have set a timer to remind me! I clearly need more practice!