A Mediterranean Beef Casserole

We often think of casseroles as autumn or winter food, but a casserole with a Mediterranean twist can light up our Summer menus! And it is so simple to give the dish an exotic taste, fresh with the strong flavour of garlic and herbs, the tang of olives and the richness of olive oil.

Take a kilo of our Red Ruby Devon braising or stewing beef from Top Meadow Farm. Flour and sear in a little olive oil until browned before placing in a casserole dish. Clarify a large or two medium chopped onions and add to the casserole together with a large red and a green pepper both cut into chunks, a beef tomato cut into pieces and a chopped celery stem. Add two or three chopped cloves of garlic, and fresh or dried Mediterranean herbs: rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, basil and oregano. Add just enough beef stock to cover the meat and cook in a low oven for 2 hours or so, checking regularly and adding stock as necessary. Half an hour before the dish is cooked with the meat tender, succulent and starting to break on the fork, add a drained tin of chickpeas or some button mushrooms and a handful of green and black olives.

Bring the casserole dish to the table so that your guests can savour the aromas of the Mediterranean, sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve with rice or couscous and a green salad, or green beans.

The aroma of garlic and herbs, the succulence of the beef, the tang of olives and the richness of the whole dish will transport you to the shores of the sun-kissed Mediterranean.