|A rather rustically arranged plate of beef and orange casserole.|
There are certain food marriages made in heaven: chicken and thyme, pork and apple, lamb and mint sauce (don't tell the French, they'll think you're mad), venison and blackberry sauce, liver and onions, duck and orange. But have you tried beef and orange? I've had a couple of beef-with-orange dishes before, but not this simple casserole, which I made today, and found richly flavoursome. (Yes, we're still cooking winter casseroles here in Solitarywalkerville, and we're not ashamed to be regressive either: the weather still feels like winter, the central heating's on, and there are hailstorms outside.) You can't beat a casserole for a warm and comforting glow. Here's what I did:
I fried a sliced onion, a large diced carrot, a diced parsnip (turnip would also be good) and 2 diced celery stalks in a mixture of olive oil and butter for 5 minutes. Half way through I added 2 chopped garlic cloves. After removing the veg from the casserole, I added more oil and browned 500 gm cubed braising/stewing steak, which I then coated in seasoned flour. Returning the veg to the casserole, I mixed in about 300 ml of beef stock and 150 ml of red wine (enough to cover) plus a good dollop of tomato purée, a bay leaf, a few drops of Tabasco sauce, a few strips of orange zest, and the juice of an orange. I put on the lid and cooked it in the oven for 2 hours at a low temperature (150 deg C/gas mark 2). I took the lid off for the last half hour after stirring (keep an eye on it in case it needs a touch more liquid). Finally I sprinkled chopped parsley over the top and served with mashed potato (creamed with with butter and horseradish sauce) and fresh greens (dwarf beans and mangetout). There should be enough for 4 servings here.