I love a good casserole and have amassed quite a collection of cast iron casserole dishes in various sizes and colours. When I was at University and in a house–share for a year the oven became known as “Helly’s Casserole Cupboard”, such was my love for casseroles! Long slow cooking transforms the cheaper, but flavour filled cuts of meat, into a meltingly soft and tender dish, which is both frugal and satisfying.
A long slowly cooked casserole is a classically northern European dish – in the winter the stove or fire would be lit all day to heat the home, leading to our tradition of slowly cooked & simmered dishes.
Ideally when making a casserole you need to cook in bulk, smaller quantities do not seem to work as well, and start to dry out. When you cook choose a casserole dish that is heavy and has a well fitting lid, and use the smallest one possible for the quantity. I find that most casseroles improve with a night in the fridge and then reheating. Of course, when you cook in bulk you can fill the freezer and reheat for a delicious meal with minimal time and effort involved.
This dish was commissioned by Simply Beef & Lamb as part of their #LivePeasant campaign, to encourage cooks to make simple, slowly cooked, one pot dishes and then to savour the flavour of the cheaper, but delicious cuts of meat, which are so perfect for slow cooking. I have followed the traditions of delicious European peasant cookery and added some frugal beans to bulk out my casserole further. They pair well with the earthy flavours of the cumin and coriander seeds I used to flavour the dish.
- 1 tbs dripping
- 500 g stewing lamb - cut into 2 1/2cm cubes
- 1 onion - peeled and diced
- 1 carrot - peeled and diced
- 2 sticks celery - finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic - peeled and chopped
- 1 tsp cumin - ground
- 1 tsp coriander seed - ground
- 1/2 tsp - hot paprika or chipotle powder
- 1 tbs flour
- 1/2 small glass red wine
- 500 ml lamb or chicken stock
- 2 x 400g cans of beans - rinsed and drained - I used black eyed beans and borlotti
Melt the dripping in a heavy casserole and add the lamb in batches and fry until starting to brown. Once browned remove the lamb from the casserole put onto a plate.
When all the lamb has been browned add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic, season with salt and pepper and sauté until soft. Add the cumin, coriander and paprika and cook for another few minutes stirring all the time until fragrant.
Return the lamb to the pot, stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes.
Add the wine and stock, then stir in the beans*, adding a little more liquid so all the ingredients are covered.
<span data-mce-bogus="1" class="mceItemHidden"><span></span>Put the lid on the casserole and cook slowly at 170C / Gas 3 for 2 and a half to 3 hours until the lamb is tender and you have a thick sauce.</span>
Serve topped with lots of chopped parsley.
You could easily double the amount of added vegetables too.
Simply Beef & Lamb support the Quality Standard mark and Red Tractor scheme for both English and Welsh lamb & beef, so when you see it you know that there is a guarantee of quality of the meat, and also animal welfare.
For more #LivePeasant inspiration you may also like
- Camilla’s One Pot Minced Beef Hotpot
- Kavey’s Beef Goulash
- Michelle’s Comforting Lamb and Pearl Barley Stew
- Michelle’s Laal Maas
This recipe for a Lamb & Bean One Pot Casserole was commissioned by Simply Beef & Lamb. All opinions our own.