Beef & vegetable casserole

Beef & vegetable casserole

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(226 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 3 hrs - 3 hrs, 50 mins


Serves 5

A traditional braised beef stew with thick, rich gravy – an ideal recipe for cheap cuts as slow-cooking guarantees a tender dish

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal483
  • fat32.6g
  • saturates13.4g
  • carbs14.3g
  • sugars7.4g
  • fibre2.3g
  • protein33.7g
  • salt1.6g
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  • 2 celery sticks, thickly sliced



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 1 onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 really big carrots, halved lengthways then very chunkily sliced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs, 1 whole and 1 leaves picked


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 beef stock cubes, crumbled
  • 850g stewing beef (featherblade or brisket works nicely), cut into nice large chunks


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Put the kettle on.

  2. Put the celery, onion, carrots, bay and whole thyme sprig in a flameproof casserole dish with 1 tbsp oil and the butter.

  3. Soften for 10 mins, then stir in the flour until it doesn’t look dusty anymore, followed by the tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and beef stock cubes.

  4. Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in the beef and bring to a gentle simmer. 

  5. Cover and put in the oven for 2hrs 30 mins, then uncover and cook for 30mins – 1hr more until the meat is really tender and the sauce is thickened.

  6. Garnish with the remaining thyme leaves.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Geoff Morris
23rd Apr, 2018
This is up there with the BBC Hairy Bikers braised steak and onions recipe. Really simple and extremely tasty. Made for dinner last night, very well received.
18th Mar, 2018
I was thanked repeatedly for a lovely dinner. This is an easy recipe and very flavorful with no adjustments made.
27th Feb, 2018
Absolutely love this recipe! I love a warming stew in the colder months and have made this several times as it’s so delicious.
2nd Feb, 2018
We have cooked this dish several times and it never stops to surprise us by how easy it is to prepare and how tasty the outcome is. A great recipe! No need to change anything.
25th Jan, 2018
This recipe is delicious! I half the quantities of beef and add some puy lentils and butternut squash. It's so tasty!
Nicol Winter's picture
Nicol Winter
23rd Jan, 2018
Can I put slices potatoes on top?
Renata Srokova
23rd Jan, 2018
Why not, is up to you. I am sure it will be very nice with potatoes too.
Renata Srokova
21st Jan, 2018
I added 1 bottle of dark ale, mushrooms, shallots, a few garlics cloves and to make thicker gravy I added corn flour. It is a delicious recipe!
2nd Jan, 2018
My husband gave this two thumbs up. I followed the recipe exactly and added a few very simple dumplings at the end. A classic.
18th Dec, 2017
Chopped the celery finely to add flavour without the large chunks and omitted the carrots as we prefer them cooked separately rather than going soft in the long cooking. Also added some extra water at the start, sealed the pan well by covering the lid with a layer of foil and left it cooking for 4 hours.


Debbie Hannon's picture
Debbie Hannon
20th Jan, 2018
Hello made this casserole many times.My family all love it,maybe it's my OCD,but why does the recipe say 3 sprigs of thyme when only one is used..what do you do with the rest??
goodfoodteam's picture
29th Jan, 2018
Thanks for your question. We have amended the text. One goes in the stew and the other one can be picked and the leaves used to garnish. Apologies for the confusion.
17th Nov, 2017
I am going to make this for 25 people. Can I cook it on the stove top instead of putting in the oven? I was thinking of 3 hours at low heat??
goodfoodteam's picture
20th Nov, 2017
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can cook it on the stove top. We'd recommend gently bubbling for 2 1/2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
6th Apr, 2017
Please could you clarify this part in step 1 Put the celery, onion, carrots, bay and 1 thyme sprig in a casserole with 1 tbsp oil and the butter. Soften for 10 mins Is this on the hob in a frying pan or in the oven in the casserole dish? Or something else! Thanks
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Apr, 2017
Thanks for your question. This first step is in your casserole dish on the hob. You don't need to put it in the oven until step 2 after you've added the water and beef and brought it up to a simmer. Hope that's a bit clearer!
29th Jan, 2017
Could I make it in slow cooker? If so what setting and timings please?
goodfoodteam's picture
31st Jan, 2017
Hi Lucy, yes you can make this in a slow cooker. For help on how to adapt the recipe, take a look at our tips feature: Hope that helps.
catplumb's picture
25th Nov, 2016
Do I need to sear the meat first?
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Nov, 2016
Hi, thank you for your question. No you don't need to sear the beef prior to adding.


7th Nov, 2015
I left out the bay leaves and added a couple of thickly sliced leeks. It's a very forgiving recipe.
31st Oct, 2015
Add one glass of red wine. Eat with Atora dumplings.
6th Dec, 2014
I added lots more veggies to this. I doubled the carrots and celery and also added some swede. There is plenty of gravy. I used knorr rich gravy stock pot, which was brilliant!
4th Dec, 2014
oh and i added 200ml more water than stated because it was too dry
9th Jan, 2014
Best recipe I've used, absolutely gorgeous! If being lazy or in a hurry, a mixed bag of pre-cut casserole vegetables work brilliantly. Swede is fab in it!