This hearty winter beef casserole is delicious and a superb match with a full-bodied shiraz. It may take a few hours in the oven, but that gives you the perfect excuse to kick back and relax while your dinner bubbles away.
- 4 pieces oyster blade beef, about 250 g each
- 1 brown onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, sliced
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 2 cloves
- 1 tbsp Pernod (see Note)
- 125 ml (½ cup) full-bodied red wine
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 250 ml (1 cup) strong beef stock
- 3 anchovies, chopped
- 20 black olives
- 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed each cut into 6 wedges, fronds thinly sliced to serve
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time overnight
You will need to begin this recipe 1 day ahead.
Place the beef, onion, carrot, garlic, thyme, cloves, Pernod and wine in a large bowl, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 120ºC.
Place the flour in a heavy-based casserole. Stir in a little of the marinade to make a paste, then whisk in the remainder until well combined. Add the beef, marinade vegetables and half the stock and stir gently. Cover with foil, then a tight-fitting lid and cook for 3 hours until the meat is almost tender.
Stir in the anchovies, olives and fennel. Cover again with foil and a lid and cook for another 20 minutes until the meat is tender. Check the seasoning, then serve sprinkled with parsley and reserved fennel fronds.
• Pernod is a French absinthe-flavoured liqueur.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Jerrie-Joy Redman-Lloyd. Food preparation by Alice Storey. Creative concept by Lou Fay.
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