May 24, 2011

Super Easy Beef Casserole aka The Reason I Failed Masterchef.

Am I the only person in Australia that finds the reality TV show Masterchef slightly annoying?  Actually to be honest maybe a bit more than slightly annoying.

There is something about it that I just don't quite connect with.  I think it is something to do with how ridiculously stressed the contestants get and how they create drama for drama's sake (but then that is what TV shows do).  Or maybe just that I get enough of real life every day and prefer a bit of escapism on the telly.  Who knows?  Given that the Masterchef creators are laughing all the way to the bank, I don't think they will be too worried about my opinion.  Someone who throws tins of soup into recipes with as much relish as I do, would not be an ideal contestant anyway.

I was thinking about this while I made my very favourite, easy beef casserole.  Mainly because it breaks lots of rules of casserole creating.  So yummy though. My lovely Mum has made it for years and years.  The Farmer can also remember his grandmother making it when he was young, so I think it is an old country recipe that has done the rounds. It freezes well, everyone eats it and the ingredients are available easily.  Ticks all the boxes (that one was for you Pilbara Chick).

It looks like this when it's done.

Masterchef Eat Your Heart Out

The ingredients are simple.

  • 700g stewing steak cut into stewing size chunks (tell me you know what I mean)
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 onion cut into rings
  • 250g of prunes
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of fruit chutney

Ingredients Photos Make Me Feel Organised

Place the stewed meat in a bag with the flour, salt, pepper and brown sugar.  Shake it until the meat is well coated.


Meat - Well Coated!

Then mix the coated meat, prunes and onion in a casserole which has a lid.

Mixed Up

Combine the water, vinegar, soy and chutney in a jug and pour over the top.  (I didn't put up a photo for this bit because a. I think you can work it out and b. the photo I took looked just like the above only wetter).

Pop the lid on the casserole dish and place in a 150 degree celsius oven for 1.5 to 2 hours.

This makes a very yummy family meal - I would normally serve it with rice or couscous.  Kind of vaguely Moroccan in a retro 70s kind of way.

(Quick question - do people find my recipes useful? or do they bore the pants off you? I am thinking about the general direction my blog is going in as it is all quite random at present.  Knowing me though it will stay random...)


deux chiens et un garcon said...

I am there with you with chunks size.

I love the added fibre with the prunes. NO need to ahve them now with breakfast.

A little bit of sugar is what my Polish Mother in Law is harping about all the time for kiddos meals.

Not sure about anyone else, but I am loving these recipes. Love that stuff is off the larder shelf.


ps very cute calf from yesterday.

Sydney Shop Girl said...

What is not to like? Prunes are a key Nana ingredient. When they are used to channel Morocco, even better.

I can't watch Masterchef. The magazine is also not my thing.

SSG xxx

Sydney Shop Girl blog

Gemma @ My Big Nutshell said...

I love your recipes and commentary along the way. It is great! Love your photos too. Bet those prunes come out beautifully especially served with cous-cous.

Also I love all your little tales of life on the farm. It's endearing and your perspective is really warm and fun.

To tell you the truth I have only watched the finale of the first and second Masterchef at Nonna Fran's insistence. Sounds a bit too fake-hyper for my liking. This of course is coming from the girl who hasn't committed to any TV series (apart from freaky Dexter downloaded from the US) for years. Probably missing out.

Penny's Portraits said...

I like the recipes. It's nice to see what other people make.
I actually know one of the contestants on Masterchef this season (not well, but we used to go to the same church) but haven't watched it much.

Loving your blog. Random is good. Mine is a bit random too.

G said...

A few points (being very efficient):

1. I agree with you about Masterchef. The fire before the ad break is starting to wear a little thin.

2. The above ingredients are not in a million years what I would think of for a beef casserole. Am absolutely willing to try it. Prunes are very popular in this household.

3. Yes, your recipes are useful. I made the apricot chicken a little while ago and it was a big hit. Apricots are also very popular in this household.

Love your work. gxo

emma @ frog, goose and bear said...

Love the recipes! I am always looking for easy ones. I used to make a casserole with prunes in it - beautiful. Won't need to dig it out, I'll just give yours a go!

Anonymous said...

1. I love your blog and read it every morning as I eat my bowl of cereal. It makes me feel like I live on the farm with you!

2. Recipes are always a hit. I check them all out, even the meaty ones - and you know I am vegetarian!!

3. Who's Masterchef?!

4. Do blogs need direction?

Love your work.

F xx

I'm So Fancy said...

Well I admit your plating could stand improving but otherwise I only see a winner here!

Virginia said...

Love your sense of humour and the recipes are great - always looking for easy dinners. Relief teaching this year so need 'easy dinners'. The ones you can start before school pick up, pop in the oven before soccer drop off, stir and check before guides drop off, and then dish up when everyone's home again!!!!

And love the selection of posts. You're doing far better than me! Haven't touched mine in ages. Must. start. again. today. ))))

LPC said...

I prefer your posts on farm life and the kids, but I'm not your target demographic, really. Old, set in my ways, and feeling like for the most part I know how to cook now as well as I ever will:).

Sharyn said...

I love your recipes, I have made most of them and they are all winners in our little household, so a BIG thankyou for sharing....

pollyemj said...

You're definitely not alone in find Masterchef annoying! I find it excruiating to watch - particularly in these early days when there are so many competitors and so many ridiculous stories for the producers to milk. I do however like the "master classes" they do where the chefs demonstrate.
Love reading your easy recipes too!

Amanda Kendle said...

I have only watched Masterchef once and that was one time too many. But I'm a very fussy, relatively rare commerical TV watcher. (aka nerd).

Love your step by step photos!

A Farmer's Wife said...

Thanks everyone - I think the blog will probably continue as is with a fairly random collection of tit bits from my life and kitchen. Thanks for continuing to read.

Amanda said...

Oh Yummy! I will definitely be trying this one.

Thank you!

PS. I think I'm the only Australian who has never watched a single episode of MasterChef :) And have no desire to.

Anonymous said...

i made your warm artichoke dip the other day...served with a warm french stick I found in the depths of the freezer...twas a hit even though the dockers were dismal.

love your recipes because they're usually something different - will try the above in the slow cooker I think