Beef and Navy Bean Casserole

Here’s an easy one pot meal, that you stick in the oven and leave alone for a few hours.  Perfect for winter weather.  And the kitchen will smell great too!

Roast Beef and Navy Bean Casserole

1 pot roast – rump roast, chuck roast, round roast…3.5 – 4 lb.

Seasoned salt – make your own!

2 tbsp bacon grease or oil

4-5 cloves of garlic, whole or cut in smaller pieces

1 large onion, sliced

1 lb package of Navy beans

2 c beef broth or beef stock

.5 cup red wine (something good you would drink)

.5 c ketchup (or tomato sauce)

Spices – your preference.  I prefer cumin, smoked paprika, bay leaves, and / chili

3-4 c  water


There are no hard and fast rules here, and you can tailor to our tastes.  I make my own seasoning (previous post) of onion powder, garlic powder, celery salt, sea salt and smoked paprika.  Experiment to make your own special blend.  Why pay $5 for a small bottle of seasoned salt that might not even fit  your preferences?

beef rubbed with seasoings

beef rubbed with seasonings


Coat the beef well with your seasoning. Melt the bacon grease or heat oil in a large dutch oven.  I prefer the bacon grease since it adds another layer of flavor. Brown the meat on all sides.  Remove the meat and add the onions, stir occasionally until soft and caramelized.  Throw in the garlic if you want it, or leave it out if you don’t.  cut large cloves into 2 or 3 pieces and leave smaller one’s whole.

seared beef

seared beef


At the same time, rinse the navy beans and pick through, then add enough water to the beans in a large pot to cover by at least an inch.  Bring to a boil while the meat is browning. Reduce the temperature and let simmer for at least 10 minutes.  You can also pre-soak the night before (I never remember to do this, or make the dinner decision in the morning).

Drain off the beans.  Once the onions are soft, add to the pot the beef broth, red wine, ketchup/tomato sauce, and whatever spices you want.  I like the warm spices like cumin, smoked paprika, and chili powder (especially Santa Fe Chili).  You could add spices for an Indian touch like turmeric and coriander, or cinnamon.  Or juniper berries, a bay leave or herbs like parsley and marjoram.  It’s totally your choice.

Stir in the navy beans, and nestle the meat down into them.  Add another 3-4 cups of water until the roast is mostly covered. Cover with a lid.

sink the beef down into the navy beans and liquids

sink the beef down into the navy beans and liquids

I like to put in the oven on 325F and leave it alone for 4 or 5 hours.  You can also cook on top of the stove with a low enough temperature that it just barely simmers.  Would be great over a campfire!

Check the meat to see if it’s starting to fall apart, or use a meat thermometer to register 170F.  it’s best when the meat just falls apart to melt in your mouth, and the navy beans are soft and have absorbed much of the cooking liquid.  Put a scoop of nay beans and sauce into a shallow dish (something like a wide soup bowl to catch the juices) and then cut the meat into slices or in pulled pieces, placing on top. Serve with some veggies – baked acorn squash anyone? – and good crusty bread.

Beef with Navy Beans

Beef with Navy Beans