Richest beef casserole

There's a secret ingredient in this rich beef casserole that adds an extra depth of flavour.
3H 35M

Dark chocolate adds an extra depth of flavour to this rich beef casserole. Best served with garlic beans and mashed potato.



1.Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
2.Cut beef into 4cm pieces. Place beef and flour in a large bowl; season. Toss to coat beef evenly in flour, shaking off excess flour.
3.Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 5 litre (20−cup) cast iron or other heavy−based casserole dish over high heat. Cook half the beef, turning, for 5 minutes or until well browned. Transfer beef to a large bowl. Repeat with another 1 tablespoon of the oil and remaining beef; transfer to same bowl.
4.Reduce heat to medium; add remaining oil, the shallots, carrot, celery, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant. Add tomato paste; cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until mixture looks almost dry. Add wine, scraping base of pan with the spoon. Bring to the boil; simmer for 2 minutes.
5.Return beef to dish; stir in balsamic vinegar and stock. Cover surface of casserole with a large piece of baking paper, ensuring mixture is completely covered; cover with a tight−fitting lid. Transfer dish to oven; bake, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours. Remove the lid and baking paper; cook for a further 30 minutes or until beef is tender. Stir in chocolate until melted.
6.Serve half the beef casserole topped with extra thyme (see > serve it). Transfer remaining beef casserole to an airtight container; cool, then store (see > store it).

Refrigerate beef casserole for up to 3 days.

Freeze up for 3 months; thaw in the fridge and then microwave.