Chef - Lisa Osman

Ark of Taste Product - Devon Red Ruby

Producer - Lisa's own herd!

''Be brave... don’t let the prunes put you off this delicious recipe – they are after all dried plums! If the memory of dreaded school dinners is too much for you then just leave them out, but you will miss the sticky, sweetness and added depth of flavour that turns this casserole from a family meal to a dinner party treat. This casserole would benefit from making a couple of days in advance but store in the fridge, to let the flavours mature. Re-heat thoroughly before serving. Do not prepare the pecans until you are ready to serve.'' Lisa Osman


– Preheat the oven 130°C or gas mark 2

– First prepare the beef by removing all fat and sinew if any and cut into bite size pieces.

– Heat a heavy based pan and add tablespoon of olive oil and knob of butter, once the butter is foaming gently add the peeled shallots and cook gently to soften. Do not brown.

– Reduce the heat and add the crushed garlic and grated ginger, and cook until fragrant.

– Remove from the pan and place shallots etc into a casserole with tight fitting lid.

– Next, seal the diced beef on all sides. First increase the heat and add a little more oil to the pan. Sprinkle the dry spices over the diced beef and then sear in small batches. Add additional oil if necessary between each batch and ensure the pan is very hot each time. Do not over cook, just seal the beef else it will be tough.

– Place the beef into the casserole with the shallots.

– Once all of the beef has been seared, deglaze the pan by quickly add the red wine to the pan and returning to the heat. Using a metal whisk scrape all of the residue from the pan and allow the wine to reduce by half.

– Add the stock to the reduced wine and bring to the boil.

– In a separate pan melt the remaining butter over low heat. Once melted add the flour and bring together with a wooden spoon to form a roux. Cook the roux for a couple of minutes stirring all of the time (this gets rid of that raw flour taste).  Remove from the heat.

– Add one third of the hot stock to the roux and stir vigorously to avoid any lumps. Add the next third and continue stirring. Repeat with the remaining hot stock and then replace the pan on the heat, stirring, bring to the boil.

– Once the sauce has thickened, add the soy sauce and season to taste. Strain if necessary and pour over the meat in the casserole dish. Add the cinnamon stick.

– Place a sheet of baking parchment over the meat and replace the lid.

– Cook in the oven for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender. Skim off any fat.

– Once the meat is tender, taste for seasoning, and adjust as necessary. Add the prunes and replace in the oven for five minutes to warm through.

– If you prefer a thicker sauce, strain all of the sauce into a pan and keep the beef warm. Mix two teaspoons of cornflour with a little water (or port) in a bowl, add a table spoon of sauce to this and then, with the pan off the heat, add the cornflour mixture to the sauce. Return to heat and whisk continuously, bring to the boil and then serve with the beef. Do not continue to boil as the sauce will thin again.

– Heat a frying pan over a low heat. Add a small amount of oil to gently fry the pecans, taking care not to burn them.

– Serve the casserole on warm plates with creamy mash or dauphinoise potatoes and leafy green vegetables, sprinkling the pecans over the beef.

Ingredients - Serves Six:

900g Devon Beef – leg of mutton cut (or chuck, buttock or skirt)

Olive oil

75g butter

50g plain flour

225g shallots peeled and trimmed

4 cm fresh ginger peeled and grated

2 cloves crushed garlic

1 cinnamon stick

Generous grinding of black pepper

Half of a whole nutmeg grated

1 tsp coriander seeds ground in a pestle and mortar

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Half a bottle of good red wine – something that you would drink!

1 tbs dark soy sauce

450ml homemade beef stock – yes it really does make the difference!

110g pecans

225g chestnut mushrooms – we like to get these from Dorset Down if possible

24 mi-cuit plums (these are incredibly soft and luscious, available from good food stores such as Waitrose) or stoned prunes soaked in port the night before.

Cornflour if necessary