Beef and stout stew

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For the stew

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1kg RSPCA Assured labelled stewing beef
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml can Guinness or stout
  • 500g Chanteray carrots, peeled and halved if necessary
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 500ml beef stock made with 1 beef stock cube
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 thyme sprigs

For the mash

  • 400g potatoes such as Maris Piper, peeled and cubed
  • 200g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • Knob of butter
  • Dash of RSPCA Assured labelled milk or cream

A rich, warming stew perfect for a chilly autumn evening. It's worth making the effort with the two types of potato - they really add to the finished dish.

For the stew

  • Preheat the oven to 170°C / fan 150°C / Gas 3. Heat the oil in a casserole dish and cook the beef in batches until evenly browned. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
  • Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened but not coloured. Sprinkle over the flour and stir until thickened.
  • Stir in the stout along with the beef stock.  Return the beef to the casserole along with the carrots, parsnips, sugar and herbs.
  • Cover with a well-fitting lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours 30 minutes.

For the mash

  • Place both types of potatoes in a large pan of water over a high heat. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil.
  • Boil the potatoes gently until tender.  Drain them in a colander.
  • Leave the potatoes for about 5 minutes in the colander until the steam has evaporated and the potatoes have dried a little. Wet potatoes mean watery mash!  Place the potatoes in a large bowl. Mash them with a potato masher.  Add a knob of butter and a dash of milk or cream. Season to taste. Serve with the stew.

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