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

Beef & vegetable casserole

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(313 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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AllTheGearNoIdea's picture
21st Jul, 2019
I've done this so many times in the last 6 months. It's outstanding. I love one pot wonders. In addition to the recipe, I soak the beef in a whole bottle of red wine for 24 hours beforehand and use most of that liquid in the gravy. I also add peppers, mushrooms and kidney beans. Had it last night with horseradish mash. Incredible flavour! Like previous poster anyone who has had it wants seconds. I even have to prepare batches for the mother in law!
12th Jun, 2019
Easy to make, delicious and not found anyone who hasn't wanted to have a second helping so far. I do this in the slow cooker overnight and I make enough to last a couple of days. I have it with crusty bread one evening and with mash the next.
Simon Powell's picture
Simon Powell
4th Jun, 2019
Instructions are very VERY bad at the start. As a new guy try and make them that you can actually follow!? Eg, fire up the oven and put the kettle on... Eh? Then, step 2, start cooking? In the same pot? Doesn’t say anything. Should it be? If it’s the case, why not say!? I’ve actually seen a cook book from an author pre release ( no name) as a “beginner book.... 2 pages in, I told the author it wasn’t good. Reason being? “Blanch the veg” was 2 steps in with out saying what that means. As a simpleton, please explain in steps that actually works!
Neil Dent's picture
Neil Dent
4th May, 2019
Delicious, satisfying and comforting. You can play around by adding other vegetables too - but make sure they're hardy enough to take the slow cooking.
27th Apr, 2019
OMG this is so gooood! I usually find casserole recipes a bit flavourless, and yes I admit I added some fresh sage and parsley too, but this was awesome! Perfect in the slow cooker.
3rd Apr, 2019
Made this again tonight. Used shin of beef. Substituted some water/stock with red wine. Cooked on low heat on the hob instead of the oven. Delicious!
19th Feb, 2019
this was amazing the left overs I made into soup.
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.


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.


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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