Thursday, 19 January 2012

Beef Cacciatore

Hubby loves a beef casserole and after two days away from home in London, a long train journey and a drive home in the dark and rain I knew it would be the welcome home he needed.  As good as the food was, I suspect that the greeting the dogs gave him was more appreciated! 

This is my version of this lovely classic Italian dish.   

500g diced casserole beef
1 onion
1 clove garlic
2 anchovies
1 sprig rosemary
1oz dried mushrooms
5 or 6 fresh mushrooms
1 jar of Dress sun-dried tomato sauce (or large tin of chopped plum tomatoes)
1tsp mushroom ketchup
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
250ml of red wine
250ml of beef stock 

Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl and add a cup of boiling water, leave to soak while you get on with everything. 

Add a little olive oil to a pan and brown the beef pieces a few at a time, removing to a dish as you go. 

When all the beef is browned, add a little more oil and then the chopped onion, and cook for 5 minutes or so before adding the garlic.  Cook for a further 5 minutes and then add the anchovies, pushing them around the pan with your wooden spoon until they ‘melt’. 

Drain the soaking mushrooms, reserving the water, and chop.  Add the chopped mushrooms to the onion and garlic, and then chop and add the rosemary to the pan.  Give everything a good stir and add the meat, and stir well around the pan again. 

Add the Worcestershire sauce and mushroom ketchup, scraping the bottom of the pan as you go to pick up any sticky bits from cooking the beef.  Add the contents of the jar of Dress sauce (or the can of tomatoes) and stir in.  Pour the reserved mushroom soaking water into the sauce jar and shake around, then add to the pan and stir.  Add a cup of red wine, a cup of beef stock and stir in.  Season and bring to a simmer.  Once the pan is starting to simmer cover with a lid and pop into the oven to cook at 150oC for 3 hours. 

Clean and slice the fresh mushrooms and add to the pan for the last hour of the cooking time.

If you feel that it is becoming too dry add some boiling water with a little Worcestershire sauce added. 

I served this with some buttery garlic mashed potatoes and green beans.

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