Life gets pretty busy and hearty casseroles and soups might seem time consuming and too hard BUT I can assure you they are very easy, and once you have all your goodies in your pot, the oven does the rest for you.
This Beef Hotpot was extremely tasty on the tastebuds and reminded me of my Indian cooking nights as most of the spices are from the butter chicken that is a staple in our household. My 3 darlings (well darlings they were tonight but devils by day!) were willing to "try" the casserole for $1.....Yes one dollar! Think I have my dad for teaching them these evil negotiation skills! Master 8 didn't need a payment offerered to him as he will try anything and he has eaten casseroles plenty of other times, but for Miss 5 and 10 the temptation of a gold coin got the better of them and they were keen to grab their forks for a taste. I struck gold with Miss 10 as she brought her plate over for a bigger spoonful and as for Miss 5 she was so chuffed at eating one mouthful and recieving her gold coin that she thought she would not be out done by the older one and brought over her plate also. As she sat down to eat her tiny portion Miss 5 proceeded to tell us that it didn't taste nice after all and that her first mouthful (for the gold coin) tasted much better than what was in front of her!! (It all came from the same casserole dish). Well it was worth seeing Mr M reach for his wallet and take out his only gold coins.....then I think I saw a few moths follow!
I found this recipe in one of my favourite books at the moment, "My favourite food for all seasons" by Janelle Bloom. I will be posting a few from this particular book so I hope you enjoy them as much as we have.
You will need
2 tablespoons plain flour
3 teaspoons ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 kg beef (blade, chuck or gravy beef), trimmed, cubed
1/4 cup olive oil
4 rashers bacon, chopped
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 fresh (or 1 dried) bay leaves
400g can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup frozen peas or fresh ones
350g Desiree or red rascal potatoes
50g butter, chopped
2/3 cup milk
1 1/4 cups self raising flour, sifted
1 1/4 cups grated tasty cheese
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
Pre-heat the oven to 130 degrees. Combine the flour, cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric and salt and pepper in a large snap lock bag. Add the beef and shake the bag to coat the beef.
Heat an 8-10 cup capacity ovenproof, stovetop casserole dish (if you don't have a casserole dish that can go on the stovetop and the oven you can use a frying pan for the first 3 steps then transfer to an ovenproof dish) Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and half the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until browned all over. Transfer the beef to a bowl. Repeat with oil and remaining beef, adding any left-over flour and spice mixture.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the remaining oil and bacon to the hot pan and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes until bacon starts to colour. Add the onion, carrots, celery and bay leaves and cook a further 5 minutes until the onion is soft.
Add the tomatoes and stock, return the beef and any juices in the bowl, then bring to a gentle simmer. Press a piece of baking paper right down onto the surface of the beef - this helps keep it submerged - and cover the dish tightly with a lid or foil. Place into the oven and cook for around 3 hours until tender.
With 30 minutes left to cook, prepare the potato dumplings. Peel and cut the potatoes into large pieces. Place into a shallow microwave-safe dish (I just boiled my potatoes in water in a saucepan) Cover with damp paper towel and microwave for 6-7 minutes on high until tender. Drain and transfer the potato to a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and use a potato masher to roughly mash. Add the flour, cheese and parsley and stir until well combined. Season well with salt and pepper.
Remove the hotpot from the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 200 degrees. Remove the lid, discard the baking paper and bay leaves and stir the peas into the hotpot. Divide the dumplings into even sized portions depending on how wide your dish is and roll them into balls. Drop the dumplings evenly over the hotpot. Bake uncovered, for 25-30 minutes or until the dumplings are golden and cooked through.
Enjoy! M x