Beef and Beer

Based on the French carbonade this is a simple dish that derives its flavour from the beer, beef stock and the browning of the flour. Once the preparation is done (about 30 minutes) this can be slow cooked at any time.

For 4 people you will need

500g of large diced lean rump or chick steak. Dry the meat pieces.
1 larger leek sliced and washed
knob of butter
Vegetable oil or rendered pork fat
2 tablespoons of plains flour
250mls of beer (preferably a flavoursome hopped beer)
250mls of good Beef Stock
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
Few sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Few sprigs fresh parsley
Black Pepper
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish


Melt the butter in a frypan over a low heat, when the foam subsides add the leeks and gently sauté, trying not to brown just soften the colour for about 30 minutes to draw out the flavour.

While the leeks are cooking in another pan, cover the base with a thin film of vegetable oil, heat until really hot then add a few pieces of the beef, don’t overcrowd and do this batches. Take care as his will be really hot and may splatter. Cook the beef until rich brown on the outside and transfer to a lidded casserole, preferable a heavy cast iron on. Add a little oil between each batch. For a more authentic taste use rendered down pork fat which will deepen the flavour of the finished dish.

Once beef is all cooked return the pan to a low heat and add the flour, stir through into the remaining fat, add more oil if seems to dry and continue to toast the roux until it turns a golden brown/amber colour, taking care that it does not burn! Take off the heat and whisk in the beer and stock until smooth. Return to heat and continue whisking whilst bringing to a simmer. Finally add the sugar, vinegar, garlic and thyme leaves. Simmer for a minute or two then…

Take the leeks off the heat and spoon over the beef in the casserole, pour the sauce over the beef, tuck a bay leaf and 3 or 4 sprigs of parsley in , grind some black pepper over, stir well, pop the lid on and cook in a pre-heated 180ºc (160ºc fan oven) for about 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Serve sprinkled with chopped fresh parsley.


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