Serves 6

515 calories per serving

740 calories with mash

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil1.5kg braising beef, cut into 3.5cm pieces
  • 4 large onions, thickly sliced
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 500ml stout
  • 800ml beef stock
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 450g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Mashed potatoes, to serve (optional)

Beef and Stout Stew

There’s nothing quite like a comforting beef stew on a cold wintry day. Made with classic ingredients, this is a traditional stew with big, bold flavours. The alcohol will cook off in the oven, but stout has quite a powerful taste so if you’re cooking for kids you may prefer to replace it with extra beef stock.

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3.
  2. Place a large non-stick casserole pan over a high heat and add 1 tbsp oil. Season the beef with salt and pepper and brown in the hot casserole in batches until the pieces are well coloured on both sides, making sure you do not overcrowd the pan. Remove each batch and set aside on a plate.
  3. Add the remaining oil to the pan and lower the heat to medium. Toss in the onions and cook for about 10 minutes until softened and golden brown. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for 1–2 minutes.
  4. Add the stout and stir well to deglaze the pan, scraping up the meat sediment. Return the beef to the pan, pour in the beef stock and add the thyme. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 1½ hours.
  5. Add the mushrooms to the casserole, stir well and return to the oven for a further 1½ hours.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir in half of the chopped parsley. Scatter over the remaining parsley to finish and serve with mash, if you like.

To freeze: Allow to cool, then freeze in two-portion lidded foil trays. Defrost fully in the fridge overnight. Cover with foil, then reheat in an oven preheated to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6 for 30 minutes, or until hot right through.