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    Beef and Vegetable Casserole

    This is a slow-cooked, tasty stew, very easy to prepare and good for cooking in bulk and freezing. You can add some sliced peppers about ten minutes from the end of cooking time for colour. Serve with broccoli or cabbage.

    500g diced stewing beef, trimmed of fat

    1tbsp olive oil

    1 large leek

    2 cloves garlic

    ½ beef stock cube in 250ml water

    2-3 sticks celery

    ½ large turnip

    200g mushrooms

    1 tin chopped tomatoes

    ½-1 tbsp paprika

    1 red, yellow or green pepper, sliced (optional)

    1. Prepare leeks by removing the tough outer leaves from the top, slicing the leek lengthwise and washing thoroughly, then slicing into half rounds.
    2. Peel and chop the garlic finely, adding a little salt and mashing to release the juices.
    3. Wash the celery, de-string using a small sharp knife and cut into 2cm chunks
    4. Peel and cube the turnip
    5. Wash the mushrooms, trim the stalk and leave them whole
    6. Heat oven to 150oC (fan oven). Heat the oil in a large oven-proof casserole and add the leeks. Stir fry for a couple of minutes until they have reduced in bulk then add the paprika and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring, then add the meat, stirring until all is well mixed
    7. Add stock, tin of tomatoes, celery, turnip and mushrooms and allow to come to a gentle simmer. Taste the sauce, adjust the seasoning if you like.
    8. Make sure the pot is well covered – if you don’t have a well-fitting lid tuck some greaseproof paper around directly on top of the stew then a double layer of foil (or a well-fitting lid). Cook in oven for 2 to 3 hours until meat and vegetables are tender. Add sliced peppers about 10 minutes before the end of cooking time if you wish.