Spiced Beef and Cranberry Casserole



Prep Time ~ 30 mins Cooking Time ~ 2 hrs
Approx Cost ~ £16 Difficulty ~ Easy
Freeze ~ Yes Serves ~ 6

Tips ~ This makes a great casserole to serve at Christmas, you could use venison instead of beef for a special occasion.


250g / 9oz rindless smoked back bacon, chopped

3 tbsp plain flour, seasoned

1.6kg / 3 ½ lb lean beef, cubed

2 - 3 tbsp sunflower oil

16 whole baby onions

2 garlic cloves, crushed

250g / 9oz button mushrooms, wiped

1 bay leaf and 1 small bunch parsley, tied together, plus chopped parsley for garnishing

75cl bottle red wine

225g / 8oz fresh or frozen cranberries

1 tbsp soft light brown sugar

300ml / ½ pint beef gravy


  • In a large flameproof casserole, cook the bacon in its fat over a medium - high heat until crispy, and then remove. Tip the flour into a plastic bag and shake to coat the meat in batches.
  • Add half the sunflower oil to the casserole and cook the meat in batches, adding more oil as necessary, until browned.
  • Remove the meat; add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until starting to brown.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook stirring, occasionally, for a further 5 minutes.
  • Return the meat and bacon to the casserole and add the herbs and red wine. Slowly bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 1 hour or until the meat is tender. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge overnight. (The casserole can be frozen at this stage in a freezer proof container. Defrost overnight then continue with the recipe as follows to serve).
  • Add the cranberries, sugar and gravy, season with freshly ground black pepper. To reheat, partially cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the cranberries are soft and the casserole is piping hot.

Before serving, taste to see if you need more sugar to counter the tartness of the cranberries. Scatter with the parsley and serve with mashed potato and green vegetables.