Beef gratin with roasted cauliflower

Slow cooking in the oven is one of the easiest ways to cook and the extended time in the oven results in butter soft meat and complex flavours. This casserole is a winner and with only a few ingredients and minimal preparation, you can let your oven do most of the work. The red wine matters – I’m not suggesting you buy a $40 bottle to tip into your casserole but equally don’t think a cask of Stanley’s “red” wine will do the trick either. The wine will either flavour or ruin your dinner so if you would drink it then it will do. I served this casserole with roasted cauliflower for something different but obviously a cloud of soft mashed potatoes would be equally good.


  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 850g oyster blade, chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 1 tbs plain flour
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 bottle good red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 100g bread crumbs
  • 100g parmesan


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • Chilli flakes
  • Salt
  • 2 tbs olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Heat oil in oven proof casserole dish. Cook onions and garlic for a few minutes until soft.
  3. Add meat, sprinkle with flour and cook for about 5 minutes until the meat starts to brown.
  4. Add thyme and tomato paste and cook for another couple of minutes.
  5. Pour in beef stock and red wine. Cover and place in the oven to cook for about 2 hours, or until the meat is tender.
  6. Toss the cauliflower, oil and spices together on a baking tray. Place in the oven once the meat has been cooking for about 1.5 hours. At this point, remove the lid for the last 30 minutes to thicken the sauce.
  7. Once the casserole is cooked, add in the Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and salt and pepper. Stir through and check for seasoning.
  8. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the breadcrumbs and parmesan and place under a hot grill for a couple of minutes until golden.
  9. Serve with fresh bread and butter and steamed greens.

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