Beef Rice and Tomato Casserole


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds beef round, 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup dry red wine
3 cups water
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 each bay leaf
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 large onions, sliced
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 can stewed tomatoes, 14.5 ounce
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon saffron, crushed, optional
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated, optional
salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a nonstick pan, heat the olive oi over medium low heat. Brown the beef cubes on all sides. Place wine water, crushed garlic, thyme, and bay leaf in a 3 quart covered casserole. Add the browned beef cubes, and cook in the oven for 1 hour in covered casserole. Meanwhile, after removing the beef, add the onions to the same pan, and saute until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the rice, and stir until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the stewed tomatoes and their liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste. After the beef cubes have cooked for 1 hour, heat the onion, rice, tomato mixture, and add heated mixture to the casserole, making sure that the rice is covered by liquid. Replace in oven and cooked for an additional hour. Check the casserole after 30 minutes to see if any additional liquid is needed. Remove from oven and sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

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