Thursday, November 28, 2013

Beef Shank Casserole

This is a super scrumptious hot comforting AND inexpensive dinner that can be made in 15 minutes! 

  • 2 cups left-over beef stew (I did this the night before: 1 shank, braised in enough tomato sauce to cover the meat. Seasoned with thyme, garlic and chilli flakes (or any hot sauce you want). Simmered with a lid on for 3 hours before I removed the meat, reduced the sauce, pulled the meat then reunited the sauce. Tip: All stew is better the next day.) 
  • 1 cup orecchiette or spirali 32 (shown)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup aged cheddar, grated
  • a little butter

  1. While you are waiting for your (salted) pasta water to boil, gather your other ingredients - not that there are many. 
  2. Sip some whiskey. If you’re making such a from-the-pantry dish, you may be tired, broke or just in need for some comfort, fast. You can also grate your cheese now. (Man I hope you don’t buy that pre-grated crap.) 
  3. Butter your personal-sized casserole dish. I got mine at Winners. It may be a 2 person serving, but YOLO and I like to eat....a lot. The butter will help the pasta get a little crunchy on the edges, if you’re into that kind of thing. 
  4. Test out your pasta. You want it under done but not crunchy. Drain and save a little water (always, with every pasta dish) in the pot and return it to the stove. 

  5. Add the saucy braised shank and once it’s hot, throw in the peas, hot sauce and pasta. Give it a quick stir, taste and season then pour it into the casserole dish and top with cheese. 
  6. Broil while watching through the oven window, face almost pressed agains it until your bubbly cheese starts getting crusty. Pull it out when you like how it looks. 
  7. Good job, you deserve more whisky. Once you’re done eating, you should probably have some well-earned gelato too. 

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