How to slow cook beef – master recipe

Simple variations for slow cooked beef dishes Why limit your slow cooked beef dishes to just a few, the basic steps for a beef casserole are essentially just the same for a beef curry or beef stew. With a simple switch of ingredients you can make a huge variety of wonderfully delicious beef meals.

We’ve created a ‘Master Recipe’ using classic flavours and simple techniques. It’s a recipe that can be easily adapted. Cook it in the oven or on the cook top. Start with beef and use what you have on hand.

Switch or mix and match ingredients to suit your taste. See our recipe ideas below.

Four steps to the best beef slow cook beef dishes:

  1. Choose your beef cut - Choose from chuck, boneless shin/gravy beef, topside, blade, round. Cut it into 2cm-3cm cubes (or ask the butcher to do this).
  2. Season, then brown the beef - Season the beef with salt and pepper. Brown the beef in small batches. This will make your casserole rich in colour and flavour.
  3. Add vegetables and stock – onions, carrots and celery are a good combination - Dice the vegetables using roughly equal quantities of each. Using a rich beef stock will add flavour, colour and depth to the finished casserole.
  4. Ensure the casserole simmers gently during cooking time

A slow simmer is when small amounts of tiny bubbles rise to the surface of the cooking liquid. Stir occasionally and adjust the heat as it cooks if needed.

Your slow cook store cupboard

  • Beef stock will enrich your dish, good quality liquid stock equals good flavour without being overly salty.
  • Onions, carrots and celery are classic slow simmer vegies. They’ll add sweetness and depth of flavour as they slowly cook.
  • Canned diced tomatoes, tomato puree or tomato passata can be interchanged in most recipes.
  • Sauces like soy or Worcestershire will give your casserole an instant flavour boost.
  • Spices will come in handy too. Keep ground cumin, coriander, sweet paprika, caraway, and mild curry powder… and of course salt and pepper in the cupboard.
  • Herbs will help build up the flavour of your casserole. They should be robust enough to stand up to the long cooking time. Bay leaves, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme are good choices.

The master recipe

The simplest yet best beef casserole.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 – 1½ hours or 2 – 2½ hours

Serves: 4 – 6

Beef - 1kg beef
Vegetables - 1 large onion (halved and sliced), 2 medium carrots (thickly sliced)
Flavour Base - 2 tbsp plain flour, 3 cups beef stock, a good shake each of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, 4 – 5 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 bay leaves (optional)
Prepare the beef: Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut beef into 2 – 3cm cubes. Season with salt and pepper, and add about 2 tablespoons of oil to beef, mix well. Heat a large frypan over a medium-high heat. Brown the beef in two or three batches. Remove each batch and place it in a casserole dish.
Add the vegetables: Reduce heat in pan and add a little extra oil, add the vegetables and cook for 1 – 2 minutes, stir occasionally.
Adding the flavour base: Sprinkle in the flour or other seasoning and stir until the vegetables are coated. Gradually pour in the stock or other liquid, stirring well. Add the remaining flavour base ingredients, stirring until the mixture boils. Pour over the beef in the casserole dish and stir to combine. Cover the casserole dish, place in oven, and cook until the beef is very tender. Stir every 40 minutes or so, add water if needed to keep the ingredients just covered.

Mix and match ideas

By using the master recipe and simply switching the vegetables and flavour base you can create other delicious casseroles – try these ideas and you’ll soon get a feel for it.

Family style Mexican ‘beef ‘n beans’ casserole

Beef - 1kg beef
Vegetables - 2 cloves garlic (chopped), 1 medium carrot (finely chopped)
Flavour Base - 35g pkt taco seasoning mix, 2½ cups beef stock, 400g can diced tomatoes, 400g can kidney beans (drain and add in the last 30 minutes cooking time)

Dad’s Sunday casserole…‘beef with beer’

Beef - 1kg beef
Vegetables - 6 whole baby onions (peeled), 2 cloves garlic (peeled)
Flavour Base - 2 tbsp plain flour, 2½ cups beef stock, a good shake each of Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce, 375g bottle of beer (or a 440g can of Guinness), 2 tbsp brown sugar

Mild, creamy beef curry

Beef - 1kg beef
Vegetables - 1 large onion (chopped), 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
Flavour Base - 2 tbsp mild curry powder, ¼ cup apricot jam (or 2 tbsp brown sugar), 2½ cups beef stock, 400ml can coconut milk

Rate this Article

Give a rating

From The Community

Sign into your account
You must be logged in to complete this action.
Sign in using your Facebook account

The fastest and easiest way to sign into your account.

Sign in with Facebook