Beef & vegetable casserole in a cast iron pot with wooden spoon

Beef & vegetable casserole

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(267 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 and put the kettle on.

  2. Put 2 thickly sliced celery sticks, 1 chopped onion, 2 chunkily sliced carrots, 5 bay leaves and 1 whole thyme sprig in a flameproof casserole dish with 1 tbsp vegetable oil and 1 tbsp butter.

  3. Soften for 10 mins, then stir in 2 tbsp plain flour until it doesn’t look dusty anymore, followed by 2 tbsp tomato purée, 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce and 2 crumbled beef stock cubes.

  4. Gradually stir in 600ml hot water, then tip in 850g stewing 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 picked leaves of the remaining thyme sprig.

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Comments, questions and tips

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5th Feb, 2019
This is a really easy but seriously tasty recipe. Like some other people I added extra carrots 4 in total and extra celery and onions along with a punnet of mushrooms. I also put in a tablespoon of sweet chilli sauce to give it a little bit of heat. Was fabulous, just put it all together and let the oven do all the work.
27th Jan, 2019
Would this method work if chucked into the oven right away rather than bringing to a simmer on hob first?
21st Jan, 2019
Forgot to say - after other comments, I added sliced mushrooms for last hr. So good.
21st Jan, 2019
I made this last night. I wanted to make a beef and ale casserole so didn't follow the recipe completely. Used just one stock pot after comments on here and just 2 bay leaves as they were fresh and were pretty strong. I added a bottle of guiness. Cooked a little longer. It was fab, lovely smell too. Served with roast potatoes and steamed greens. Can't wait for lunch today - same again :)
Jordan Brown's picture
Jordan Brown
5th Jan, 2019
Fantastic and super easy! I threw in some potatoes too and served in giant Yorkshire puddings. It went down a treat in my household. Definitely making again!
Natt Webb's picture
Natt Webb
13th Dec, 2018
Great recipe - as others have done I used shin of beef. It came out super soft and tasty. Can be thrown together for under £10 and will easily feed 4 hungry adults. I served with mash and cabbage. Will definitely make again
12th Oct, 2018
I got this recipe originally from the Good food magazine a good few years ago, though they called it Lancaster hotpot, and put sliced potatoes on top! Anyway whichever way you have it, it's the tastiest beef casserole, maybe only beaten buy a 3 day Beef Bourguignon.
28th Sep, 2018
A tasty traditional beef stew.
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.


Amandaxxx's picture
23rd Nov, 2018
Hi can this be done in a slow cooker? If so how can i adjust the steps accordingly please?
goodfoodteam's picture
26th Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can do this in the slow cooker. After step 3, transfer the ingredients, along with the hot water and beef, to the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
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.


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!
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