Beef and Guinness Casserole (serves 4)

Beef and Guinness Casserole by The Fat Foodie

It’s really getting cold now, with thick layers of ice on everything seeming commonplace, and it seems like my slow cooker is going on very frequently in an attempt to combat the incessantly encroaching cold. Before I left to go to work the other day I put a beef and Guinness casserole in the slow cooker and it was an absolute delight to come home to. The minute I walked in the front door I was hit by the rich, rib-sticking aroma of beef that had been slow-cooked in deep, yeasty beer. Heaven indeed.

There’s not that much to this recipe really, it’s just a case of throwing all of the ingredients into the slow cooker and letting it do all of the hard work by bubbling and popping away all day while you’re out of the house. I served my beef and Guinness casserole with generous dollops of buttery mashed potato and thyme glazed carrots, but you can serve it with whatever you fancy.

I should also point out that Guinness is not gluten-free because it is brewed from barley, so don’t use it if you’re coeliac or are highly sensitive to gluten. However, there are many gluten-free beers available nowadays, so a look in your local supermarket or online will undoubtedly uncover some gluten-free options for you to use in this recipe.

I think this beef and Guinness casserole goes very well with creamy, buttered mashed potato and carrots which have been gently steamed until tender and then glazed with melted thyme-infused butter. The mash helps mop up the rich beef gravy of the casserole and the thyme flavour of the sweet buttered carrots just marries really well overall. It’s a meal which will definitely help you to chase the winter away.

Ingredients:

450g casserole beef

3 tbsps of gluten-free flour (I use Dove’s Farm G/F flour because it’s made with low FODMAP ingredients whereas many other gluten-free flours are made with high FODMAP options.)

A 440ml can of Guinness

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

2 beef stock cubes

 

For the Thyme Glazed Carrots:

4 large carrots (cut into short lengths)

2 tbsps butter (or non-dairy version)

2 tbsps fresh thyme

Method:

Coat the beef in the flour and then put the beef and herbs in the slow cooker.

Pour the can of Guinness into a microwavable jug and heat until boiling. Dissolve the two stock cubes into the Guinness and add to the slow cooker and cook throughout the day.

Boil potatoes to make mashed potatoes and in the meantime make the glazed carrots.

To make the thyme-glazed carrots steam or boil the carrots until just soft and drain. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the thyme and carrots and fry until the butter has reduced and the carrots have a glaze on them.

When you’re ready to eat, serve the beef and Guinness casserole with mashed potatoes and the glazed carrots.

Beef and Guinness Casserole by The Fat Foodie

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Beef Casserole with Buttered Neeps (serves 4)

Beef Casserole with Buttered Neeps by The Fat Foodie

Yesterday morning I realised that I wasn’t really in the mood for cooking anything complicated for dinner so I made a beef casserole in the slow cooker which I served with buttered neeps and it was delicious. Although I would usually make the base of my casseroles with diced onion or shredded white leeks it’s sadly a very high FODMAP food so it’s off the menu. However, I’ve read that the green leafy tops of leeks are actually low FODMAP and therefore are suitable to eat without feeling any unwanted side effects.

Now, I’ve thought about testing this before, but I’m so reluctant to buy leeks (or spring onions whose green tops are also fine) because I’d be unable to use the full vegetable and it would go to waste. Thankfully however, my aunt and uncle who have an allotment generously gave me two huge leeks that had beautiful, massive, flourishing green tops and I certainly wasn’t going to waste time in putting them to good use. The oniony flavour of the leek tops within the beef casserole was also enhanced by the addition of a bouquet garni, which is a muslin bag or tea bag case that’s filled with dried herbs, such as thyme, bay leaves and rosemary and it infuses the herby flavours throughout the casserole as it slowly cooks throughout the day.

I’ve written about the numerous benefits of using a slow cooker before and today is no different. I just love the fact that you can throw fairly cheap ingredients into the slow cooker and leave it to cook throughout the day, allowing all of the composite flavours to meld together to create a rich, unctuous casserole that greets you after a long day at work.

This beef casserole with buttered neeps is an incredibly easy, but luxurious and flavoursome, meal. Its slow cooked beef melts in the mouth and is accompanied by the soft, sweet carrots that have been lightly seasoned with the herby flavours of the bouquet garni. It’s just a great slow cooked casserole that’ll satisfy the whole family.

Ingredients:

700g casserole beef

4 large carrots (cut into bite-sized pieces)

50g of green leek tips (thinly shredded)

bouquet garni

80g gluten-free gravy granules (At the time of writing, Tesco’s G/F gravy is good because it does not contain onion powder.)

A litre of boiling water

1 neep (or swede) peeled & cut into small chunks (no more than 240g of prepared neep/swede in total)

30g butter (or dairy-free version)

1/2 tsp ground white pepper

Method:

Put your slow cooker on low and make your gravy by mixing the gravy granules into the litre of boiling water and stirring until it forms a thick gravy.

Put the beef, carrot pieces, shredded leeks, bouquet garni and gravy into the slow cooker and stir well.

Leave your slow cooker to cook all day.

To make the buttered neeps cut your neep or turnip into small chunks and boil in heavily salted water until soft.

Drain and mash before adding the butter and white pepper and mashing further. Taste for seasoning and then serve alongside the beef casserole.

Beef Casserole with Buttered Neeps by The Fat Foodie

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