Thursday, June 16, 2011
Yummy Casserole with no name
I've been trying to think of a name for this casserole for the last 2 weeks! My husband suggested, "Earthy Casserole".....and then I told him to shush. Actually, my ideas weren't any better........Beef Casserole with risoni, chickpeas, tomatoes, spinach and lemon.......Rustic Casserole with lemon........then I told myself to shush.......so here's my Yummy Casserole with no name.
Just a heads up....Our kids weren't a huge fan of the spinach in this dish but they loved everything else....but our kids are weird.....they like sucking on lemons....**
500g beef chuck steak, cubed (approx 2 - 3cm)
approx 6 eschallots. peeled and kept whole
1-2 whole cloves (optional)
1 litre beef stock
1 tin of chick peas, drained
about 10 cherry tomatoes, whole, preferably ones on the vine, vine removed
1 cup risoni pasta
1 - 2 bunches spinach (after the stems and the middle membrane have been removed and you are just left with the green bits you should have approx 130 - 180g
how to make your Yummy Casserole with no name
Pre- heat oven to 180C. Grab a large roasting pan and line with baking paper if necessary.
Drop some oil into a high sided pot and bring to a mid heat. When the oil has heated up enough add pieces of meat. Brown the meat in 3 batches otherwise you will crowd it and the meat will stew and not brown. I use my BBQ tongs here so I don't get spat at by the oil. If the meat is burning turn the heat down otherwise you will get a horrible vegemite flavour in your end result. Brown each side and set aside on a plate when done. When you have browned off all your meat add the eshallots and garlic if using and keep moving over a low flame. When they have softened a little add the meat again and throw in all your stock. Bring to the boil. Once boiling take off the heat and pour carefully into your roasting pan. Cover with 3 layers of foil tightly and pop in the oven.
Now you can cook this for 1.5 hours or up to 2 hours. It's up to you. I've done both and the only difference is: the meat is a little more tender with the 2 hour time and there are less juices.
If doing the 1.5: Take out of the oven (Don't discard the foil) Add the risoni first, then the chickpeas and the tomatoes. Pop the foil back on and cook for another 35 mins.
If doing the 2: Take out of the oven (Don't discard the foil) Add the risoni first and a half cup of boiling water, then the chickpeas and the tomatoes. Pop the foil back on and cook for another 35 mins.
After 35: Take out of the oven (Don't discard the foil) Add the spinach over the top of the whole dish. No need to mix it with the juices. Pop the foil back on and cook for another 5-8mins until the spinach is cooked.
Pop the spinach on the plates first then pile over the top the remainder of the casserole. Serve with Lemon wedges. (The lemon juice goes perfectly with everything on the plate and just adds that little extra something) Enjoy!
**Ok, you are not weird if you like sucking on lemons.