Classic Casseroles and Chef Tim's top tips

Chef Tim has worked all over the world and has even cooked for the British Royal Family and agrees that when it comes to comfort food, you can't go past a hearty casserole.

Here's Tim's Tips for making delicious winter casseroles:

  • Always brown the meat in batches first to increase flavour
  • Dust the meat in flour before browning as it helps to thicken the sauce
  • Instead of plain flour try chickpea flour or gluten free flour
  • Cook root vegetables with the meat from the start - add softer vegies towards the end to cook in the sauce
  • Use spices from other cuisines for added flavour

Here's a few techniques to try:

  • Top your casserole with dumplings or large croutons made with sliced baguette spread with garlic butter and gruyere cheeseand brown under the grill
  • Marinate beef in beer - Tim recommends Thirsty Crow's Vanilla Stout - and use the marinate as stock in the casserole

Try these tasty casserole recipes:

Beef Casserole with Parmesan Dumplings

1kg gravy beef, cut into 2cm chunks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 bacon rashes, chopped
500g button mushrooms, halved
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
2 tablespoons plain flour
2 cups (500ml) beef stock
1 cup (250ml) red wine
2 fresh thyme sprigs
3 bay leaves
50g butter
2 cups self-raising flour
½ cup parmesan
¾ cup milk


Brown 1kg gravy beef, cut into 2cm chunks, in 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Transfer to plate. Add 1 onion, chopped, 6 bacon rashes, chopped, 500g button mushrooms, halved, and 4 whole garlic cloves, peeled and cook until soft. Stir in 2 tablespoons plain flour.

Add 2 cups beef stock, 1 cup red wine, 2 fresh thyme sprigs and 3 bay leaves. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, add beef and simmer covered for 1 ½ hours. Spoon into a 2 litre (8 cup) ovenproof dish.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Rub 50g butter into 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour. Stir in ½ cup  parmesan and ¾ cup  milk. Bring together. Roll into 20 balls. Place on beef. Bake for 20 minutes.

Chicken and chorizo casserole

1 tablespoon olive oil
1.2kg chicken casserole pieces
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
150g chorizo, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
¼ cup fresh curry leaves
½ cup white wine
4 small red potatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 cup chicken stock
Fresh steamed broccolini, to serve

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Heat oil in a large flameproof oven dish with a lid. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown chicken in pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes each side until golden. Remove and set aside.

Add onion, garlic, chorizo and carrot, and cook, stirring often over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Add curry leaves and cook for 1 minute. Add wine and deglaze the pan, scraping any bits from the base of the pan. Simmer until reduced by half. Return chicken to the pan. Add potatoes and combined mustard and stock. Remove from heat.

Cover and transfer to oven. Bake for 1 hour or until chicken and potatoes are tender. Serve with steamed greens.

Lamb Shank Bourguignon

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 Lamb Shanks
2 tablespoons plain flour
4 bacon rashers, coarsely chopped
12 small brown shallots, peeled
200g button or halved cup mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup  beef stock
2 cups dry red wine (or use extra beef stock)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 dried bay leaves
4 thyme sprigs
Thyme sprigs, extra, to serve

Heat the oil in a large casserole pan over high heat. Toss the lamb in the flour to lightly coat, reserving any remaining flour. Add the lamb to the pan and cook, turning, for 5-6 mins or until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add the bacon to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 mins or until golden brown. Transfer to a bowl. Add shallots and mushrooms to the pan. Cook, stirring, for 2-3 mins or until golden. Add garlic and cook for 1 min.

Return lamb and bacon to the pan. Stir in reserved flour. Pour over stock and wine, if using. Add tomato paste, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, turning occasionally, for 2 hours or until lamb is falling off the bone. Season.

Sprinkle the lamb with extra thyme.


Recipe source

Creamy Pork Casserole with Sauteed Cabbage

1½ tablespoons olive oil
1kg Pork Scotch Fillet, cut into 3cm pieces
30g butter
1 onion, halved and finely sliced
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 cup pear cider or apple cider
1 cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
½ cup cream
3 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
Potato mash, to serve
20g butter
¼ cabbage, shredded
1 tablespoon sage leaves, shredded

Preheat oven to 170C (150 fan-forced). Heat half the oil in a large, deep, non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook pork in 3 batches until lightly browned, adding remaining oil as needed. Transfer to a 6-cup capacity casserole dish.

Reduce heat to medium and melt butter. Add onion to the pan and cook, stirring often, for 5 mins, until soft and lightly golden. Sprinkle flour over and cook, stirring, for 1 min. Gradually add cider and stock, stirring constantly.

Bring to a simmer then pour over pork. Cover the dish with a lid or foil and place into the oven. Cook for 1½ hrs, until very tender. Remove from oven and stir in cream, mustard and thyme. Return to oven, uncovered, and cook for a further 15 mins. Season to taste.

Just before pork is ready, melt butter in a large saucepan. Add cabbage and sage and toss over medium heat for 2-3 mins, until just wilted. Serve with the pork and mash.

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