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2-Step Beef Casserole

We're currently enjoying a honeymoon weather-wise with brilliant, blue skies and welcome sunshine. Come nightfall, however, the cold sets in, and winter comfort food is the order of the day. Enter the simplest and undoubtedly most delicious beef 'n vegetable casserole you ever made! Just 2 -steps is all it takes to produce a meaty meal that can be easily prepared ahead of time, lasts perfectly on a Shabbat plata, and stretches to feed a crowd. Let winter do its worst...this hearty dish ensures you're prepared for anything.

3 tablespoons canola oil 1 large onion, chopped 2 teaspoons crushed garlic 1 kg beef goulash (Meatland) 2 tablespoons tomato paste 4 cups beef stock* (Ina Paarman is best) 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (Meatland) 2 teaspoons dried thyme OR few sprigs fresh thyme 2 bay leaves 3 carrots, peeled and chopped 3 celery stalks, chopped 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon pepper 2 tablespoons cornflour 1 cup frozen peas (or green beans) * Can substitute 1 cup of beef stock with red wine if desired. 1: Heat the oil in a large pot and toss the beef till lightly browned then add onions and garlic and cook till softened. 2: Add remaining ingredients, apart from the cornflour and peas, empty into a casserole pot or slow cooker, and cook covered in the oven at 170 C for approximately 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or in the slow cooker for approximately 6 hours . 3: Mix cornflour with 4 tablespoons of water and stir into casserole to thicken, then add peas to cook for 10 minutes so that they aren't over-done. 4: Serve with polenta, couscous, rice or wide egg noodles. COOK'S NOTES: You can make this even easier for yourself by NOT braising the meat and cooking onions and garlic, and simply combining all ingredients, apart from cornflour and peas. However, taking this initial step improves flavor. Cook in a pot on the stove top if desired, but stir occasionally to ensure the bottom doesn't burn. Don't cut vegetables too small or they will fall apart. Find fish-free Worcestershire sauce, best goulash and Ina Paarman stock at Meatland. Serves 6 to 8 depending on side dishes.

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