Steak and tomato casserole

November 25, 2016 | Filed under Dinner

Casseroles are an easy way to make a nourishing meal with very little preparation.

You do need to put it all together several hours before you plan to eat though.

This recipe uses cheap cuts of beef that become tender after long slow cooking. You can make two different flavoured dishes from this recipe depending on whether you use spices or herbs.

I’ve suggested Moroccan spices or dried mixed herbs here but you can use your own mixture to get flavours that you and others in your household enjoy.

It’s best to use a non-fan oven for the slow cooking this dish needs.  If you only have a fan oven and you can’t turn the fan off, use a lower temperature, say 130°

Use a casserole dish with a lid or put foil over another ovenproof dish if you don’t have a dish with a lid.


400 gms steak (use gravy beef, topside, blade or chuck steak)
1 onion
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 tablespoon Moroccan spices
1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
1 425 gm can of chopped tomatoes (or 2-3 fresh tomatoes in season)
½ cup water


  1. Heat the oven to 150°C.
  2. Chop the onion and brown in the oil till it goes slightly transparent
  3. Put the onion in a casserole dish
  4. Cut the meat into 2-3 cm sized pieces and brown in the pan you used for the onion.  You don’t need to add any more oil unless the meat really sticks to the pan
  5. Add the meat to the onion then sprinkle the spices or herbs over the meat.
  6. Add the canned tomatoes and water and mix through the meat until all the mat is coated
  7. Cover the casserole dish and put in preheated oven for 3 hours.
  8. Do a taste test for tenderness and put back into the over for a further 30 – 45 minutes if you think the meat is still a little tough.  Don’t overcook though or the meat will dry out.
  9. Serve hot with baked potatoes and vegetables.

Serves 4

You can make this dish ahead of time.  The flavours will develop overnight and the casserole will be even tastier the next day.  If you plan to store it overnight, keep the dish covered and reheat thoroughly before eating the next day.





Ann’s savoury chops

November 20, 2016 | Filed under Dinner

This is my friend Ann’s go-to recipe for a quick and easy, tasty dinner – for family or friends.


6 lamb leg chops
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
1 teaspoon of each of ginger, curry powder, mustard, mixed spice
1½ cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Trim the fat from the chops and place in an ovenware dish
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together and pour over the chops
  3. You can prepare the sauce ahead of time and leave it to marinade the chops for several hours or just put the dish into the oven straight away.
  4. Cover dish and bake in a slow oven (140°C for 2 hours, or 170°C for 1 hour.

Serve with baked potatoes, boiled carrots and steamed broccoli for a well balanced dinner

Chicken soup

September 4, 2015 | Filed under Dinner

I’m just home in New Zealand after spending time with my daughter and grandchildren in Ireland. While I was there my son-in-law made a fantastic roast chicken dinner with roast vegetables and superb gravy. (He’s a chef so why am I surprised!)

He cooked enough to be able to make a filling chicken soup from the leftovers. This soup is very thick and almost a chicken stew. The children loved it and had chicken dinner again and again. …Read more

Update on Graham’s winter special

June 27, 2015 | Filed under Dinner, Lunch

Winter must be here. 2015-06-20 13.29.27

I’m getting ready to make another batch of Graham’s vegetable soup.  This has been a family favourite for many years.  The photo shows the range of vegetables that go into this tasty and filling winter meal – good for a dinner with crusty bread as well as for lunch.  Heats up well in the microwave at work too.

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