Beef casserole

Retrokitchen – after quite some delay – is upping the ante ever so slightly today.  This dish differs from the previous recipes at a number of levels.  First, it is seasonally specific, being far better enjoyed in  the colder months.  Second, it takes more time than the other recipes, ie well over an hour.  Lastly, it involves a wee bit of judgement, especially at the early stages.  Overall, then, it’s not quite the doddle that the Retrokitchen recipes have been to date.

Still, this beef casserole really isn’t that difficult.  Moreover, it is frightfully tasty.  Give it a go!

Let’s start with the ingredients.

A few cloves of garlic – not too dear, but try to buy Australian:


1 medium brown onion – again shouldn’t set you back too much:


1 kg diced chuck steak – about $20.00.  Don’t skimp and get anything else, even if you can’t find it at the supermarket and have to go to a butcher.  You need this cut of meet to survive the cooking process.  Other cuts won’t hold up.

Chuck steak.JPG

2 parsnips – a surprisingly exorbitant $4.00 – doesn’t anyone eat 1970s food anymore!

Turnip (2).JPG

3 carrots – a few shekels – sorry to be imprecise, old Mum did the walking frame work for the ingredients this week:

Carrots raw.JPG

Some celery sticks – a few more shekels, again old Mum’s shuffle for this one:

Celery raw.JPG

1 green capsicum – Mum said this cost about 1 shekel.  I know, I know  – I sound lazy.  To the extent it is a defence, I was on my feet in court:

Green capsicum.JPG

A cuppla cup mushrooms – yep, you guessed it, a few shekels:

Cup mushrooms.JPG

1 tin crushed tomatoes – I’ll guess $1.40 from the spag bol recipe.  Should still be right, give or take the odd flood or drought:

Crushed tomatoes.JPG

2 tbsp. tomato sauce – $1.50 per bottle – not even a recent act of God could affect that price:

Tomato ketchup

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce – $3.30 per bottle – ditto on the price:

Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp brown sugar – $2.20 per packet – can barely imagine a recipe without it!

Brown sugar

1 tsp All spice – $2.59 – as you know, I try to avoid house brands as my way of saving the country, but old Mum slipped this one in:


1 tbsp cornflour – $2.70 per packet – you add water to it, mix it into a paste and add it only if necessary – I may have got away without it this time!


Half a cup of sweet sherry – $9.00 a bottle.  Try not to drink it – I found out the hard way as a teenager:


Righto, let’s get cooking!

1.  Chop garlic:


2.  Chop onion:


3.  Chop parsnips into fairly sizeable pieces – too small and they’ll turn to mush in the casserole:


4.  Chop carrots also into fairly sizeable pieces:


5.  Chop celery into – again – fairly sizeable pieces:


6.  Chop capsicum into – you guessed it – fairly sizeable pieces:


7.  Slice mushrooms – not too finely:


8.  Place cooking oil in the bottom of a casserole pan and add garlic.  Cook until lightly browned:


9.   Add onion and cook until golden:


10.  Add steak one handful at a time.  Cook until outwardly brown.


11.  Move outwardly brown steak to the side and add another handful to the middle of the pan.  Repeat the process until your purchase is exhausted.  Make sure the juices from the beef don’t start to bubble up and stew the meat – this is the hard part of the recipe.  If all this sounds too stressful, feel free to remove the meat once browned and return it to the casserole pan once all the other meat has been browned:


12.  Add crushed tomatoes:


13.  Add 1-2 cups of water, 2 tbsp tomato sauce and 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (I’m sure, dear reader, you’re clever enough to notice that the photos below were taken on a later occasion – old Dad and I dropped the ball the first time round):



14.  Add 1 tsp Allspice:


15.  Add 1 tbspn brown sugar:


16.  Add pepper and salt:

Add pepper

17.   Add parsnips:

Add turnip

18.  Add carrot (again a substituted photograph):


19.  Add celery:

Add celery

20.  Add capsicum:

Add capsicum

21.  Add mushrooms:

Add mushrooms

22.  Add half a cup of sherry:

Add sherry

23.  Cover and cook for one hour, stirring occasionally.  Serve with boiled potatoes:



3 thoughts on “Beef casserole”

  1. LOL It will never catch on—it’s got more than four ingredients…
    I remember cooking a variation of this in the 70s, from a British cookbook given to me as a wedding present, inscribed ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.’ That version lacked the exotic touch of the garlic and the capsicum.


    1. Thanks Lisa! As you may have gathered, these recipes are my mother’s. She lived in England (Ox and the Old Dart) until 1970. I expect she had a similar cookbook. By the way in our household I do all the cooking. I think a woman’s heart is also not unrelated her to stomach!


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