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Beef slow cooked in ale

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Meat mains

Beef slow cooked in ale

Main Serves 4 3h 15 min
This melting, flavourful beef stew needs a long time in the oven, but hardly any attention. The ale gives it a real depth of flavour and you don't have to be precise with your veg – try parsnips, sweet potato and squash as alternatives or additions to carrots. This slow-cook recipe's great with a robust, earthy mash – try parsnip or celeriac and potato.


  • 2 tbsp seasoned plain flour
  • 500g diced beef, suitable for stewing
  • 4 slices streaky bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 200g mushrooms
  • 8 shallots, peeled and left whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of thyme
  • 300ml dark ale


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 3h
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 140°C/Gas 1.
  • Step 2

    Place the flour in a large bowl. Toss the diced beef, bacon, carrots, mushrooms and shallots in the flour and arrange in a casserole. Sit the bay leaves and thyme on top and pour in the ale.
  • Step 3

    Place the casserole over a medium heat and bring to a simmer then pop on a tightly fitting lid before transferring to the oven. Leave to cook slowly and gently for 3 hours, stirring occasionally - this allows the meat to become tender and gelatinous.
  • Step 4

    Check the liquid level occasionally; add a little more ale if needed and remove the lid for the final hour if there's too much liquid. Discard the herbs before serving.

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