Casseroled Chuck Steak in a Rich Sauce

Serves 4

This casserole has a real depth of flavour, the gravy is rich and delicious and contains what may sound like an odd ingredient but the anchovies really do add something extra. Unless you’re allergic to fish, don’t leave them out and even if you think you don’t like anchovies, we promise you that you’d never know they were there. They break down completely to impart a special savoury element to the dish.

Rather than cut the carrots into small dice we chose to keep them chunky to add more interest both visually and texturally.
We served ours with potato and celeriac mash with a spoonful of wholegrain mustard stirred in.
A good hunk of crusty bread would also go well.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large stick celery, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 4 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 500g – 600g diced chuck steak
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 250 ml water
  • black pepper
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks

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Method

Heat the oil in a large heavy based lidded saucepan, add the onions, celery, garlic and bay leaf and fry gently over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes very soft and translucent and slightly golden.

Add the tomato puree and cook for a minute or so, add the chopped anchovies and dried thyme and stir in. Turn down the heat while you fry the meat.

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan until very hot. Put in the meat and sear in batches, turning the meat until it browns on all sides. Put the meat in the saucepan with the onion mixture. Sprinkle over the flour and stir in.

Pour the wine into the still-hot empty frying pan until it simmers then pour in the water. Tip this liquid into the saucepan with the meat, grind in some black pepper, season with salt to taste and stir to mix. Put in the carrots and stir once again.

Bring the pan to a simmer, place the lid on and then turn the heat down to very low. Cook gently for 1½ – 2 hours. Check occasionally to make sure it isn’t catching on the bottom. If it becomes a little dry just add some boiling water from the kettle.

When done the meat and carrots should be soft. If you find that there seems to be too much liquid, remove the meat and carrots to a bowl using a slotted spoon leaving behind the liquid.

Increase the heat to high and boil the juice until it becomes a thick gravy then stir the meat and carrots back in.

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