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

Beef & vegetable casserole

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(419 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 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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12th Jun, 2020
I was a bit nervous about not browning the beef but this was delicious. I made a double batch, and added extra carrots plus some halved mushrooms. I swapped most of the stock for cheap wine. Result was delicious- and made enough for 13 portions (with baked potato and green veg). Don't leave the meat chunks too large though- one of the batches used tesco beef and it cooked in the correct time, but I'd used butchers stewing beef for the other (ie each piece about 4x the size of the tesco pieces) and it needed about 7hrs in a low oven. Tasted great though...
Jen Runnalls's picture
Jen Runnalls
30th Apr, 2020
I have been using this recipe for a few years now. Everybody loves it and I make it regularly for my parents. It has to be the easiest but tastiest casserole to make. I double the quantities of everything because people always want more, and on the rare occasions I have any left over it freezes really well. I always use dried thyme, and sometimes make dumplings, put them in for the last 20 mins of cooking.
26th Apr, 2020
This is a fab recipe! Like many others, I added some red wine in place of water (using about 200ml red wine and 400ml water). I only had 500g of beef each time I made it, so the first time I made it I added 350g of turnip in there to bolster up the ingredients, and the second time I used 350g of butternut squash, in large slices. Delicious, delicious casserole, highly recommend! It also didn’t ask for any salt and black pepper but I put some in anyway - light on the salt but heavier on the black pepper (mainly to balance the sweetness of the squash, which was particular to how I made it).
Cristina Tav's picture
Cristina Tav
22nd Apr, 2020
I have tried this recipe with 400g of meat and only left it for 2.5 hours (I interrupted the cooking when I was supposed to only remove the lid). It was thoroughly cooked, but a little dry. It may have been due to the fact that I didn't have a casserole and had to put it in a pan with a lid with a tiny hole. Didn't have Worcester sauce and added extra tomato purée and a bit of pepper. Turned out really tasty!
Sherariah's picture
1st Apr, 2020
This was even nicer than what I expected. It is so tasty. Definitely making this a regular in our home! Served it with mashed potato. Went down a treat. (It smelt lovely while it was cooking too). I cooked it in the slow cooker. Perfect.
1st Mar, 2020
Delicious. My 1 and 3 year old boys gobbled this up...husband wanted more. Definitely a hit for us. Used 500g braising steak which was gorgeous and soft. Probably why the boys loved it so much. Added some large chestnut mushrooms from the beginning and swapped some water for red wine. Served with big dollops of mashed potatoes. Great in a windy blustery winters day.
28th Feb, 2020
Made this a few times now, really good recipe, and so easy. Even my French partner loves it!
Che Guevaraa's picture
Che Guevaraa
20th Feb, 2020
I cooked per instructions. This was absolutely gorgeous I had seconds!
Katja Huitikka's picture
Katja Huitikka
9th Feb, 2020
I am joining the bandwagon when it comes to this recipe. So easy to make. Like many others, I added in 250 ml of red wine as part of the liquid and reduced the water. Otherwise, I followed the original recipe and my guests absolutely loved it! Served it with rice but will probably serve it with mashed potatoes next time. And there will definitely be a next time!!
8th Jan, 2020
Delicious! I fried some rosemary in the oil and butter at the start for some extra herbage. Also added a splash of red wine, parsnip and swede. Finished with chopped parsley. Will cook again and add some pearl barley.


Sarah Lou's picture
Sarah Lou
4th Sep, 2019
Can this be frozen please
goodfoodteam's picture
9th Sep, 2019
Thanks for your question. Yes, this recipe freezes well. Simply defrost and reheat on the hob. All our freezable recipes are marked with a blue star above the nutritional information.
10th Mar, 2019
is the tomato puree double concentrate or do I Just use 1 tbsp if using this please?
goodfoodteam's picture
12th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. We usually use the double strength but any tomato purée is fine - use the full amount as it contributes to a slightly richer consistency.
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.


4th Jun, 2020
My husband loves this dish and I think it is very tasty too. I tend to add some swede also and have also added parsnip in the past. Even when I have not had quite as long to cook it (2hrs covered, 30mins with lid off) it has come out tasty, but definitely take your time if you can. Sometimes it doesn't have as much gravy as we would like but you can just add a bit of extra water when cooking and cook for longer to thicken it up if it is too runny. We have it with fresh crusty buttered bread. Yummy! I have also put left overs in some puff pastry parcels as an easy lunch with left overs.
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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