Friday, January 27, 2012

Beef Casserole With Carrots, Onions, and Cream

This week's IHCC theme is a potluck choice of any recipe from one of Tessa Kiros' cookbooks.  I selected a beef dish from her book Falling Cloudberries.  Tessa writes that this is an adaptation from a popular Finnish dish called Karelian stew.  She also points out that you can add a few fresh herbs or other spices to the pot and even use a mixture of meats (veal, beef, and pork).

It couldn't have been easier and goes to prove that a good tasting meal can be derived from the simplest of ingredients.  And speaking of ingredients, here is the cast of characters for this recipe.

Topside of beef, carrots, onion, parsley, bay leaf, allspice, and cream.
Wouldn't it be nice if you could purchase tiny bundles of parsley instead of  huge amounts? 


Throw everything except the parsley and cream into a heavy casserole.  The recipe calls for 8 allspice berries.  I only had ground allspice so I closed my eyes and imagined what 8 berries would look like after I ground them up; then I measured out a teaspoon and threw it in the pot.  As you can tell, I'm very scientific in my methods.

Next, pour about 3 cups of water or enough to come 3/4 of the way up the side of the meat.

Cover the casserole and bake at 350°F. for about two hours.  Turn the meat a couple of times during that period.

After two hours the meat should be very tender.  Remove the meat to a resting plate and cover with foil.  Discard the bay leaf and berries (if you actually had berries).  Remove the carrots and onion and measure out 3 cups of the liquid.  My liquid actually measure out to exactly 3 cups.

I admit I became somewhat giddy when I read the instructions to use a food mill to pureé the carrots and onions.  I love this kitchen tool of mine and I don't use it a lot.  However, it was just not happening with the onions; I wasn't getting the result I wanted.

So I dumped it all in the blender with a little bit of the juices and pureéd until it was smooth.

I whisked the pureé into the cooking liquid (that I had poured into a small saucepan) and added the parsley and cream.  While that was heating up I sliced the meat and plated it up with some egg noodles.  As instructed I ate the sauce like it was soup poured lots and lots of sauce over the meat as well as the noodles.

Beef Casserole With Carrots, Onions,and Cream
Adapted from "Falling Cloudberries" by Tessa Kiros
Serves 4 to 6

3-1/4 pound piece of lean silverside or topside of beef
2 large carrots
1 large red onion
About 8 Allspice Berries (I used 1 tsp ground Allspice)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Mise en Place:
  • rinse and pat dry the beef
  • peel carrots and cut in 1-1/2 to 2 inch chunks
  • peel onion and cut into quarters
  • chop parsley
  • measure out cream
  • measure 3 cups of water
Preheat your oven to 350°F.  Put all the ingredients except the cream and parsley into a heavy casserole dish and add about 3 cups of water, or enough to come about three quarters up the side of the meat.

Cover the casserole dish and bake for about 2 hours, turning the meat over a couple of times until it is really soft.  Remove from the oven.  Lift out the carrots and onions with a slotted spoon and pass them through the fine disk of a food mill, or pureé them (I pureéd mine in the blender).  Discard the bay leaf and allspice berries from the casserole.  Remove the meat from the casserole and keep warm.

Measure about 3 cups of the cooking liquid and return this with the pureéd vegetables to the casserole (you can freeze any leftover cooking broth for another use).  (Note:  my liquid actually measured out to exactly 3 cups).  Add the parsley and cream to the liquid and heat through.  Adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Serve the beef in thick slices and serve with a lot of sauce poured over it.

I am sharing this recipe over at IHCC


  1. What a nice plate of comfort food from very few and simple ingredients. I would probably eat that sauce like soup too.

  2. Mmmmm...comfort food at its finest. i had to laugh when you said you were giddy to use your food mill- I always feel the same way. It's one of my favorite kitchen tools, but it rarely gets used. I've marked this recipe to try soon, sounds delicious :)

  3. This recipe always calls to me when I flip through her book. I think what I like about it is the way she makes the cream sauce (with the veggies and all). It looks delicious!

  4. I am with you and Heather on the food mill--any chance to use it is cause for excitement. ;-) This looks fabulous--loving the veggie sauce.

  5. What a lovely meal! A great chunk of beef there, perfect family meal.

  6. Delicious looking meal - very comforting :-)