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Recipe for Beef Casserole

Actually, with research, this looks like it is NOT an ancient Roman recipe, but perhaps, instead, from the 6th Century. Certainly, Marcvs tells me, they did not have cloves in common use then. Maybe it's cloves of garlic — I don't know. We'll continue to research this, but feel free to try it.

Original recipe:



  • 1 kg/2lb beef
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 leek
  • 2 stalks celery
  • Half a head of fennel
  • 125 ml/4floz red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 or 5 spikenard leaves
  • 4 or 5 leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 80 ml/3floz red wine
  • A pinch of pennyroyal, fresh or dried
  • 1 tbsp sapa
  • Salt


  • Cut the beef into 2½cm/1" cubes and fry them gently in the olive oil until brown, then remove the pan from the heat.
  • Coarsely chop the celery, leek and fennel and add them along with the vinegar and wine to the beef.
  • Place all this into a large pyrex dish and pour on enough water to cover the ingredients. Put the lid on the dish and place it in an pre-heated oven set at 170°c/330°f/Gas mark 3 for 2 hours.
  • Grind the peppercorns and cloves in a bowl. Finely chop the spikenard, and pennyroyal and dd these with the honey, salt and sapa to the stew.
  • Stir and leave to marinate for six hours.
  • Reheat for 30 minutes in a pre-heated oven aet at 200°c/ 400°f/Gas mark 6 before serving
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