You know those days when you just want to leave your slippers on, take all day to read the papers and then eat some comfort food and maybe have a cheeky glass of red? Well this is the perfect recipe for the food part.
500gm diced beef
1tbs plain flour, seasoned
2tbs olive oil
3 Tins of chopped tomatoes
1 140gm tub tomato paste
3 Large potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/3 cup sweet/cooking sherry
20 Very small button mushrooms, or 10 medium sized, cut in half, stalks left on
1 Zucchini, roughly chopped into rounds
2 Fresh bay leaves
2tbs finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1tbs finely chopped oregano
Crusty bread to serve
Preheat oven to 180C degrees.
Put the flour in a freezer bag, season and then in batches add the beef and shake inside the bag to cover lightly, shaking off excess flour and putting aside until it's time to cook.
In a flame proof casserole dish, heat half the oil and fry off the beef until browned. In the meantime, par-boil the potatoes and carrots for about 3 minutes, they just need a head start on the cooking, so don't overdo it.
Remove the browned beef from the pot, add the remaining oil and fry off the onion. There will be bits stuck to the pot, this is OK, add the sherry to deglaze the bottom and then add the beef and stir well to thicken the sherry. Add the drained potatoes and carrots and stir through, cooking for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and then stir in the herbs.
Put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 1 hour. Add the mushrooms and zucchini and cook for a further hour at 160C degrees. If the sauce is very thick or the ingredients are no longer covered by it after the first hour, just add a touch of boiling water and stir through.
Pour the red, cut some crusty bread (casalinga is my bread of the moment) and serve.