Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Beef & Chorizo Casserole

Ironic, I guess, and perhaps not entirely straight, that while I have been posting about having been a year in Wales, I am, in fact, in London, with the kids, staying with a great friend. We are combining collective childcare, boxing and coxing with various work commitments, taking the kids out and about, and of course catching up and enjoying mutually supportive gin drinking... I've also been seeing something of my littlest nephew, who, conveniently, lives a 15 minute walk (with his parents - my youngest brother & his wife - of course) from my friend.

Our children (mine & my friend's) are similar in age and get on pretty well, so it's working out, and I think they are having a good time. Friend and I have also managed to stay on top of work that we couldn't complete in advance of half term, so everyone's a winner, although sometimes, it can feel a little crazy. As you can imagine, half term and museums in London can be pretty chokka. 

Early is good, but getting everything done and everyone organised and out of the house can be a mission. 

This morning, for example, between us, we'd reviewed a complex legal document (friend), scheduled social media posts for a client (me), knocked up a packed lunch for 6 and put a casserole in the slow cooker, not to mention negotiated breakfast, and the getting dressed, teeth brushing and leaving the house with 4 lovely but ever so slightly scatty under 12s, and made the train to Waterloo by 9.20 a.m. for a day at the Imperial War Museum...

Slow cooking is a total boon for this sort of day - when you return home culturally replete but, let's face it, knackered, all you need do is knock up some mash (or just soak some couscous, or slice up some bread) and bingo, dinner.

Beef & Chorizo Casserole

Serves at least 4 hungry children and 3 adults

1 kg casserole steak
plain flour
1 pack 12 mini cooking chorizo
about 20 shallots
5 medium carrots
2 cloves garlic
sunflower (or other) oil
2 * 400g tins cherry tomatoes
2 beef stock cubes 
2-3 tsp cornflour

Pre-heat the slow cooker. My friend has an infinitely superior slow cooker to mine, with a timer and a warming setting. Marvellous!

Put the steak in a bowl and sprinkle a couple of spoonfuls of plain flour and a couple of grinds of salt & pepper over it.

Halve the chorizo sausages, peel the shallots, peel and chop the carrots so they are similar size to the chorizo. Peel and finely chop the garlic.

Heat  a tablespoon of so of oil in a medium-large frying pan and start off gently frying the chorizo pieces. Add in the carrot and garlic and fry gently for 5 minutes or so before transferring to the slow cooker. If necessary add a little more oil to the an, then brown off the shallots and add to the slow cooker.

Finally, brown off the beef (use a little more oil if you need) in small batches, adding to the slow cooker. Boil the kettle.

Once all the beef is added to the slow cooker, tip in the 2 tins of cherry tomatoes, crumble the stock cubes into one of the empty tins, fill with water, pour into the other empty tin, then add the beefy, tomatoey water into the slow cooker, stir everything round, pop the lid on and cook on low for 8 hours or so.

Go out for the day.

When you return, mix up 2-3 tsp of cornflour with a little cold water, add in some juice from the slow cooker, then tip the whole lot back into the slow cooker for an hour or so to thicken up. Do not sprinkle the cornflour directly into the casserole or it will go lumpy.

Make mash potato, soak couscous, boil pasta, whatever you want to go with the casserole - frankly whatever you have the energy to produce - and serve.

Pour yourself a g&t if you haven't already...


  1. so lovely and warming and so perfect for this miserable weather... enjoy the city!

    1. We have been - although pretty knackered now. Home again tomorrow!

  2. Perfect for the time of year (or any time, really). That's an impressive slow cooker - mine's held together (mostly) with glue. I'm very impressed with your organisational skills - I had huge trouble negotiating getting up and breakfast today and that was just me.

  3. I'm really thinking of investing in a slow cooker... Cannot believe you got 4 kids out the door for 9.30! Good work RJ, enjoy

    1. Slow cookers are brilliant - you still have to do the work, but somehow by separating all the prep from the sitting down and eating is psychologically a huge bonus.


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