Tired of eating the same things for dinner? Want to make something different but don't know where to start? This beef casserole recipe or beef stew is simple and easy, all you need are a few ingredients. You can make it as spicy or mild as you want by adding some spice to it.
This healthy beef casserole or beef stew is the perfect comfort food, fantastic for colder days but not only. It is such a soul-hugger! A proper winter warmer that anyone would look forward to coming home to!
What are the three main parts of a beef casserole?
Generally, a beef casserole or a casserole is a baked dish that consists of three parts:
- pieces of meat - beef chunks (with or without bone) or any ground beef - other meats (chicken, lamb, pork) or fish or other protein (beans, chickpeas, or tofu),
- various chopped vegetables - any vegetables you may like (rooty ones in particular)
- a starchy binder such as potato, flour, or pasta.
Liquids are released from the meat as well as the vegetables while cooking, and other liquids can be added such as any type of stock, wine, ale, gin, or beer when the dish is compiled.
Casseroles are usually cooked slowly and uncovered in the oven and served as a main course or side dish.
This is definitely the perfect beef recipe, easy to prepare and let the oven do all the work, the dinner is cooking while you can do other things.
Other types of casserole
Any baked dishes served in the baking dish can be classed as casseroles like a delicious English Lancashire hotpot, the French cassoulet, Greek moussaka, UK shepherd's pie, or the Italian timballo.
How to serve beef casserole?
You may serve this on its own with a nice slice of crusty sourdough, on pre-cooked pasta, with orzo, with couscous, or on rice.
For me, my stomach is never large enough for all of these dishes, the ultimate comfort dishes that would suffice any time. That tomato sauce and gravy, it's to die for, honestly!
I like it simple, healthy, and cooked to perfection. It is so yummy and that's with no frying involved at all. I gave up frying years and years ago as I really think it is such an unhealthy habit as well highly unnecessary.
Ways to cook a beef casserole
- in a pressure cooker or instant pot - for a super rapid dinner - ready in just under one hour from start to serving. You may choose to slightly brown the beef and saute the onions. After just doing this, you’ll need to add beef broth to the pan. Give the bottom of the pot a good stir to loosen up all of those browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- on the stove - follow this recipe's instructions and instead of using an oven you cook this on the stovetop. I would cook it for half the time covered and half the time uncovered to reduce the juices and get that nice deep coloured gravy
- in a slow cooker or crockpot - oh, all those juices - that rich gravy it's to die for.
* mixed lentils can be found in a pack that contains a blend of lentils used for soups or winter stews. They normally contain pearl barley, red split lentils, green and yellow split peas, brown rice, haricot beans, and marrowfat peas. These make such a difference to this dish!
** Moroccan spices can be replaced with any spices that you like most or just happen to have.
*** Olive oil - Whenever I cook meat, I never add any oil but feel free to if you wish.
**** Beef meat - you may use ground beef instead of beef chunks and - it is also delicious.
This beef casserole is great comfort food, and it can certainly be made ahead of time for the week! It's also really hearty and healthy with only 44g of carbs per serving.
Some people may say this recipe is missing flour. I will respectfully disagree. First, I really dislike adding flour to my sauces, there's no such rule that beef casserole or a beef stew needs a thickening agent.
As the soup simmers, the juices will reduce beautifully and the potatoes will give off plenty of that needed starch, creating some of the most velvety broth you've ever had.
I do avoid adding unnecessary carbs to my dishes but you may feel free to add a spoonful of flour or cornflour and if you chose to, add it at the beginning just before adding the liquid.
If you do choose to add flour, increase the liquid amount by a cup or two.
More delicious recipes you might like:
- Smoked pork joint, sausages and butter beans stew
- Winter warming chicken soup
- 13 winter warming and comforting soup recipes ready in less than one hour
- Cabbage and beef casserole
- Beef and zucchini enchiladas
Let me know how you found this beef casserole, did you like it as much as we do?
- pot (stove and ovenproof)
- chopping board
- wooden spoon
- 1 kg beef (2.2 lb) cubed (use some bones too)
- 800 ml water (27 fl oz) or beef stock
- 150 g lentils (5.3 oz) (mixed) *
- 100 g flat beans (3.5 oz)
- 4 medium carrots
- ½ large celeriac
- 2 parsnips
- 2 small peppers (red or green)
- ½ medium butternut squash
- ½ swede
- 3-4 sticks celery
- 3 medium potatoes cut into halves or thirds
- 1 large onion
- 1 small leek
- 3 cloves garlic (chopped)
- ½ can chopped tomatoes (canned), chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Himalayan salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 tablespoon Moroccan spices see notes **
- 1 chili red or green (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil optional ***
- Preheat the oven at 190°C or 375°F.
- Wash and chop, dice and cut all the vegetables and the meat. Set aside on a chopping board or a plate grouped.
- Place the pot on medium fire, add the meat chunks, the chopped onion, leek, chopped celery sticks, bay leaves, sliced carrots, cut into larger pieces flat beans and the potato chunks, celeriac, thyme and the crushed and chopped garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes tossing from time to time. Add some salt too.
- Add the water or stock add some salt and increase the heat to high.
- Add all the remaining ingredients, the mixed lentils, tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, paprika and spices. Mix well and transfer into the oven. Do not cover but make sure your dish is not too full as it will make a real mess in the oven.
- Cook for 45-50 minutes until the liquid has reduced quite a bit.
- When ready, take out carefully using oven gloves. Serve while hot and optionally sprinkle some chillies over and fully savour it. You can serve this on rice too if you like.