Topped with thick slices of garlic and herb bread, this beef in beer casserole is hearty and satisfying. It's an ideal dish for entertaining because it can be prepared ahead. Serve the beef in beer with mashed potatoes and steamed seasonal greens for a complete meal.
Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a flameproof casserole dish, add the beef and cook over medium-high heat for 4–5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer the meat and its juices to a plate.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and reduce the heat to low, then add the onion, carrots, parsnip and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes. Return the beef and its juices to the pan together with the beer, stock, mixed herbs, vinegar, mustard and sugar. Stir well and bring to a boil. Cover the casserole and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours or until the beef is tender.
Meanwhile, to make the garlic bread, cut baguette into 8 thick slices. Mix together the garlic, parsley, thyme and oil and spoon evenly over one side of each slice of bread.
Uncover the casserole and add pepper to season. Lay the slices of bread, oiled side up, in a circle around the edge of the casserole dish, overlapping them slightly. Return the casserole to the oven to cook for 20–30 minutes or until the bread is golden and crisp. Serve hot.
Beef in beer variations: For beef in red wine, use 12 whole shallots or baby onions in place of the onion, carrots and parsnips, and a full-bodied red wine instead of the stout. Omit the vinegar, mustard and sugar and add 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly instead.
Per serving: 714 calories, 43 g protein, 33 g total fat, 7 g saturated fat, 71 mg cholesterol, 53 g total carbohydrate, 10 g sugars, 6 g fibre, 840 mg sodium
A casserole such as this makes a particularly healthy meal. Water-soluble vitamins—C and B complex—and minerals that seep from the food during the cooking process are usually thrown away with the cooking water. In casseroles, more of the nutrients are retained in the gravy.