Long, slow cooking gives this traditional beef casserole its inimitable flavour. The cooking liquid is reduced simply by removing the casserole lid, resulting in a wonderfully aromatic red wine and brandy sauce that glazes the beef and vegetables.
Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada
Preheat the oven to 300°F (150ºC). Dice the beef 1 cm thick.
Heat the sunflower oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the sliced onion and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown.
Add the stewing beef to the casserole dish and fry for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pieces of beef are browned on all sides. Stir in the baby carrots and parsnips, the button mushrooms and the garlic.
Pour in the red wine, then stir in the orange rind and juice, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf and season with pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover the casserole and transfer it to the oven. Cook the casserole for 1 1⁄4 hours.
Remove the lid of the pan and cook the casserole for a further 30 minutes, stirring once or twice. Stir in the broad beans and cook, uncovered, for another 30 minutes, again stirring once or twice.
Taste and add pepper if necessary, and stir in the chopped parsley. Warm the brandy in a small saucepan and pour it over the casserole. Immediately set the brandy alight and carry the casserole to the table still flaming.
Beef in red wine and brandy variations: You can vary the vegetables in this recipe. Small broccoli florets or shelled fresh or frozen peas can be added instead of the broad beans. Also, large carrots and parsnips, cut into equal-sized chunks, are more economical for an everyday stew than baby vegetables. • Flaming the casserole with brandy is completely optional. • For an everyday version, you might prefer to use 3 cups reduced-salt beef stock or light ale instead of the wine.
Per serving: 538 calories, 52 g protein, 21 g total fat, 6 g saturated fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 19 g total carbohydrate, 11 g sugars, 9 g fibre, 140 mg sodium
Robust broad beans go well with beef and they bring valuable dietary fibre to the dish. Research shows that, in moderation, red wine consumption may help protect the body against certain cancers and heart disease, and can reduce bad cholesterol levels.