Feeding the Funky Bunch: Casserole Base


This is my recipe for a basic casserole base. It creates a delicious gravy to cook meat and vegetables in. I generally cook this casserole base then pour half into my slow cooker, add my meat (for instance diced beef or lamb) and vegetables chopped into large chunks (for instance carrots, pumpkin, zucchini and frozen peas), then pour the remaining base over the top. Served with mashed potatoes it makes a delicious winter meal.

You can easily prepare this casserole base ahead of time and add it to your slow cooker straight from the fridge, or cook it up in the morning and pour into the slow cooker hot. If you’re leaving the slow cooker to cook for a whole day (at least 8 hours) you can add the casserole base cold and use frozen meat. If you have less time (approx 6 hours), I’d advise adding the casserole base hot and using defrosted meat.


Casserole Base




  • 25g butter
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1tbs tomato paste
  • 2tbs plain flour
  • 400g tin of tomatoes
  • 2tbs thermomix vegetable stock concentrate 
  • 200g (1cup) red wine
  • Cracked black pepper

Thermomix Method

  1. Place garlic, roughly chopped onion, celery & carrots, and butter in TMX bowl
  2. Chop 3-5 sec, Sp 5
  3. Cook 100C, 5 min,  Rev Sp 1
  4. Add tomato paste and flour
  5. Give a quick stir with the spatula
  6. Cook 100C, 2 min, Rev Sp 1
  7. Add tinned tomatoes, stock and wine
  8. Cook 100C, 10 min, Rev Sp 1

Non-Thermomix Method

  1. Finely chop garlic, onion, celery & carrots by hand or in food processor
  2. Place pan over medium heat and melt butter
  3. Add chopped garlic, onion, celery & carrot
  4. Cook for 5 min, stirring regularly, until softened
  5. Add tomato paste and flour
  6. Stir over medium heat for 1-2 minutes
  7. Add tinned tomatoes, stock and wine
  8. Stir gently until well mixed and simmer on low heat for 10-15 min, until sauce thickens

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