Sunday, April 24, 2011

Beef and Beer Casserole

Slow cookers are the bees knees when it comes to casseroles. They really do produce something quite fabulous without the expense of running your oven all day.  I use to think casseroles were for the uninspired but have come to seriously appreciate the flavour and comfort that a well made casserole can offer.  Of course there are so many variations, and my usual quandry is do I go with a beer base or red wine base- this time it is the beer base because it works so darned well with the cheesey cobbler topping that I often use to spin this out, serve it one night with mash and vege, the next night in individual dishes with the cobbler topping.  This option is great for the freezer as you can freeze in individual portions and have a great meal in minutes when you don't feel like cooking. Or a snack for your teenage boy with the gargantuan appetite! 
This recipe comes from Simon and Alison Holst again, from the other slow cooker book I have of theirs..
100 Ways to Use Slow Cookers and Crockpots
The cobbler is a modified version of a Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall recipe.
Beef and Beer Casserole

For 4-6 serves

700g chuck or other stewing steak
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 rashers bacon, chopped
2 tsp oil
1 1/2 c beer
1 tbsp golden syrup or treacle
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt

Turn the slow cooker onto high and coat with non stick spray.  Cut the meat into 2cm cubes, discarding fat but leaving the connective tissue, since it tenderises as it cooks.  Place it in the slow cooker.  
Lightly brown the onions, garlic and bacon in the oil in a large frypan for 5 minutes. Meantime, put the remaining ingredients in with the meat.  Add the pan contents when ready, stir everything together then put on the lid.
Turn the heat down to low and cook for 6-8 hours.  Taste before serving and add extra salt or brown sugar if necessary.  About 15 mins before serving, thicken the liquid with cornflour mixed to a thin paste with water and switch the heat to high.  

Cheese Cobbler topping

200g self-raising flour
1 tsp salt
6 tbsp chilled butter, cut into pieces
100g cheddar, grated
1 big handful chives, chopped
2 large eggs
70ml whole milk

Sift the flour and salt, rub in the butter and stir in the cheese and chives. Whisk the eggs and milk, and stir into the flour mix - it should be fairly sloppy.  Drop spoonfuls of cobbler dough all over the top of the casserole (you can do this in one large dish or in individual ones, just adjust the cooking time to suit). Brush lightly with more milk and bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes until the cobbler is golden.

1 comment:

muppy said...

This looks incredibly delicious, i love the slow cooker too! and that cheese topping is a great idea.