Beef Casserole (Beesvleiskasserol) a la Huisgenoot Wenresepte

If you’re an Afrikaans South African, the odds are that the conerstone of your culinary tradition is “Kook en Geniet”. Following that tome of culinary culture, came the “Huisgenoot Wenresepte” series; a collection that may be considered as addendums to the original “Kook en Geniet.” Having purloined a copy of Wenrespte (vol 1), I have finally started cooking from it. A note though: just about every recipe in here may be classified as comfort food, not really one for those watching their weight. But I digress. The recipe that lead to my theft of sage will be the topic of this post. The basic recipe as published is a little short on detail, so I’ve embellished it a bit.


  • 800g stewing beef (I used pre-cut “Goulash” cubes)
  • flour (I guess one uses about 5 tablespoons, but perhaps that wasn’t quite enough)
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • rosemary and sage (chopped)
  • 1 clove
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • frying oil
  • 500 ml dry red wine (I used Robertson Shiraz)


  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C
  • Prepare onions (sliced) and herbs (chopped)
  • Cut beef into cubes
  • Cover beef in flour (I mixed some salt and pepper with the flour)
  • Fry beef in hot cooking oil until brown
  • Reserve beef and fry onions in same pan (or skillet if you’re being fancy)
  • In a medium casserole dish, place onion aand beef in alternating layers.
  • Sprinkle sage and rosemary between each layer. I also added some salt, pepper and flour between each layer.
  • Pour wine over everything in the casserole dish.
  • Add clove and nutmeg
  • Cover casserole and bake in oven (at 180 deg C) for about and hour until meat is tender.


I think more than an hour was needed, since the meat wasn’t quite tender, and the sauce a bit thin. I used about 2 handsfull of fresh sage which may have been a bit much, resulting in a slightly bitter taste. It also seemed to need a bit more salt to bring out the flavour; this also covered the slight bitterness of the sage. I served it over couscous (instead of the traditional rice) with a tossed salad.

All in all it was very tasty, and I’m definitely making it again. The combination of sage and rosemary with the wine and onions is quite successful. Next time I’ll bake it longer, both to cook the meat better and to allow the wine sauce to reduce a bit more.