Day 2 – Beef Miraton
Remember that beef pot roast from a few days ago? Of course you do. I was reminded of it every time I opened the fridge, presented as I was with the sight of half a kilo of uneaten roast beef and the option of creating yet another meal of leftovers. Joy.
Leftovers is a wonderful idea but eating the same old thing can lose its appeal – fast. The key to re-appropriating leftovers is creativity and a certain inventiveness or panache that makes the meal even better than the original night you ate it. And of course, when it comes to kitchen panache – in the middle of the week, with screaming children and a busy schedule - we all have that in spades, don’t we? Hmmm?
And yet, a beef miraton accomplishes all this and more. It’s so fantastic you may well be tempted to go out and buy some beef just to make it without leftover meat at all.
This dish cleverly layers some steamed or boiled potatoes – roasted potatoes would do just as well – and some slices of beef with a rich onion and tomato sauce. Heat it up in the oven for 40 minutes and you’re done. It’s perfect for using up your roast – and why not lamb instead of beef? – but you could also use this with leftover steak or chops from your next barbecue. Trim the fat, slice the meat as evenly as you can and don’t worry too much if it looks messy – the onion gravy coats everything to glossy perfection. It even uses up some odd crusts of bread you were saving for breadcrumbs.
It’s leftovers, but not as you know it. Joy.
3 large onions; 50g butter; 1 tbsp olive oil; 800g (about 4 medium-sized) potatoes; 500g roast or cooked beef, trimmed of fat and sliced into 5mm slices; 2 cloves garlic, finely diced; 1 tbsp plain flour; 250ml (1 cup) chicken or beef stock; 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar; 3 tbsp tomato sauce; sea salt and black pepper to taste; ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs (about 2 slices bread)
Pre-heat oven to 160°C
Peel the onions and slice them in half, then slice each half thinly to give you half-moon shaped onion slices.
Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan and when it’s melted and bubbling, add the onions. Reduce the heat and cook them gently, stirring every few minutes, for a good 40 minutes until the onions are soft, a caramel brown and very sweet.
While the onions are cooking, scrub the potatoes well, place them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until they are cooked. Drain them and allow them to cool for five minutes, then remove their skins (only if you prefer; I love them as they are) and slice them into 1 – 1.5 cm thick slices.
Lightly grease a 2 litre casserole or gratin dish with some olive oil or canola spray and line the bottom of the dish with the potatoes, so they slightly overlap each other. If the potatoes have split and fall apart as you slice them, don’t worry – just scoop them up and smooth them out into a reasonably even layer – it will all sort itself out as you cook the dish. Place an even layer of beef slices over the potatoes.
By now your onions should be collapsed and dark brown. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for another three minutes, then scatter the flour over the lot. Stir well to coat the onions and cook the flour for about three minutes, then add the stock.
The sauce will now start to thicken. Add vinegar and tomato sauce and stir well to combine. You should have a very thick reddish sauce. Season to taste. Pour the onion and sauce over the beef and coat it completely. Scatter with breadcrumbs.
Bake the casserole for 40 minutes until the breadcrumbs are crunchy and the beef is heated through. Serve with a side of steamed green vegetables.
$9.00 for four people (less if you’ve already paid for the beef for a previous meal)