I'd a red calf haunch in the freezer that was really needing used up so decided to casserole it on Sunday.
Defrosted it (took 36 hours, overnight in a cool room then a day in the fridge)
Boned out the haunch and set the meat aside. To make a stock - broke the bones and fried them off for flavor and colour, covered in a large pot with couple of bay leaves, onion, carrot and half a dozen peppercorns. Simmered for 2.5 hours until a bit more than half its volume. Drained and set aside.
Meantime the gorgeous meat (I know its a crying shame to use this for a casserole!) was cubed into roughly one inch cubes. Fried to seal and brown the meat in small batches. When the bottom of the pan got too burned it got deglased with a spoon of stock and the liquid and scrapings poured over the browned meat.
When that was all done two onions and a clove of garlic got sweated down, then half a bottle of Rioja, boiled off the alcohol. (Ooh look, there's half a bottle of Rioja left over). Good tablespoon of redcurrant jelly, meat added, stock added, couple of wee sprigs of rosemary that I keep in the freezer. Brought to a light simmer and left for two hours.
then added 1/2 a swede, four big carrots and four smallish parsnips. Cooked for another 45 minutes, seasoned and then thickened with a heaped tablespoon of cornflour in cold water.
Served with buttered mash and peas. Made enough for 16 hungry people.......
I know its 'just a stew' recipe, but really enjoyed it. Anyone got other great stew/ casserole ideas or secrets?