So my mind travels off and starts thinking of a warming casserole.
This casserole is very simple to make, just a bit of meat browning, potato peeling and bringing liquid to a boil. Then its into the oven the cook slowly, while it makes your house smell divine and your tummy rumble.
I always put on a loaf of bread in the bread maker, to eat warm with melting butter dripping off your fingers and perfect for mopping up the sauce.
You can make a small casserole or a very large one. The amounts I use is enough for 4 large serves with leftovers. You can add any other root vegetables, that you may like.
1 1/2 half beef cut into 4 x 4 cm cubes (I use rump) 1 bottle passatta, potatoes peeled and cut into large pieces approx 6cm, 1 litre stock, 1 cup frozen peas, 4 tbsps plain flour, 1/2 - onion chopped finely, 2 cloves garlic finely chopped, 1 tsp dried thyme or 2 small sprigs fresh thyme, oil for frying
Preheat oven 160.c Place flour in a plastic/freezer bag add salt & pepper, place meat in and toss about to coat. Heat 2 tbsps of oil, add meat in batches and fry till brown. Remove and place in a casserole dish, with the potatoes or if using a large pot that you can place in the oven, place onto a plate. DON'T throw out the remaining flour.
When finished browning the meat, you may need more oil, add onion stir 1-2 minutes, scrapping as much from the bottom as possible. Add garlic stir 30 seconds. Add leftover flour stir 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients except peas, stirring to get remainder from base of the pan. Bring to the boil, either pour over meat & potatoes in the casserole dish or return meat and potatoes to pot. You may need more stock or you can use water.
Cover place in the oven bake 2- 2 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Add peas cook for a further 20 minutes.
The sauce will have thickened a little while cooking. Serve with fresh bread. Eat and enjoy.