Beef and dark ale casserole

After a glorious two weeks in Southern Brittany we’ve returned to a very autumnal London – conkers, auburn leaves, rain, windfall apples littering the patio.

So there’s only one thing for it – a nice old fashioned casserole. Both my mum and my gran used to knock out a cracking beef stew with a bit of this and a bit of that. One of my favourite early food memories was being given slices of bread and butter to mop up the gravy with until the plates were gleaming!

This recipe is one i’ve been using for quite a few years now and have adapted it along the way. It’s classic man food and a great crowd-pleaser if you’ve got a gaggle of people coming over and you just want a simple dish to serve up that doesn’t require much fuss.

Beef and dark ale casserole (Serves 2 adults, 2 children)


500g beefsteak, cubed
3 rashers streaky bacon, chopped
3 tbsps plain flour
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
20g butter
300ml brown/dark ale
1 beefstock cube or a dash of liquid beef concentrated stock
1 carrot, sliced into rounds
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
salt and pepper
sprig of rosemary or a couple of bayleaves

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180’C.

2. Put the bacon and beef into a bowl and coat with the flour and seasoning.

3. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, Sautee the onion and garlic until soft,

4. Add the bacon and beef to the softened onion and garlic and lightly brown.

5. Add the remaining ingredients and cover with a lid. If there’s not enough liquid you can either top up with hot water or more beer. Cook for 2.5 – 3 hours.

It’s a great dish to warm your cockles, but also fab for convenience coz there’s not much preparation to wade through – you just need to make sure you’ve got it in the oven early to mid afternoon in time for everyone’s dinner.

It’s also pretty cheap so good for the budget conscious among us who’ve spent quite a lot this summer and need to make some serious cutbacks!

It’s great served with rice, mash or jacket potatoes with a healthy side of greens. Why not make double and freeze down the leftovers for a quick nutritious supper when you’ve not got time to cook.


About Katie Bryson

Katie Bryson is a freelance food writer and blogger. She left a career in online news at the BBC to immerse herself in the culinary world, taking in courses at Leiths School of Food and Wine and an internship at Waitrose along the way. Her family food blog is bursting with recipes and tips for feeding hungry families that’ll help inspire all those frazzled parents out there wondering what on earth to cook for tea!
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11 Responses to Beef and dark ale casserole

  1. Ele says:

    Yum! Thanks Katie, bizarrely was only thinking yesterday I need to get some more casserole recipes for comforting after school suppers.

    • rhwfoodie says:

      No problemo Ele! I too need to build a decent repetoire of one pot dishes that I can sling in the oven in the afternoon ready to serve up for the post school appetite on legs! Let me know if you find any other gems!!!

  2. Rosemary Hamilton says:

    As you so rightly commented, Gran’s beef casserole was a legend and I am so glad you are carrying on the tradition. Keep up the good work!

  3. Sharron says:

    Oooh this sounds just the ticket for those cold winter evenings that are rolling in! Nice photos too!

  4. Jo Fazel says:

    Yum! comfort food at it’s finest – my favourite! now if I could just get organised enough to get this in the oven by 3o’clock instead of thinking about starting dinner at 5 it’ll all work out!

  5. Thank you Katie! How scrummy! Casseroles rock! I appreciate you stopping by Cafe Bebe to share the link. This is definitely going into the rota. I really need to get nutmeg and mustard powder…such staples! 😀 Thanks again…


  6. Pingback: Flavour Savour Blogger Review – Feeding the boys and a Firefighter « Home of the House-Proud

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